Stories We’ll Tell Our Grandchildren

We know now for certain that the world is coming to an end.
And we are the bricks falling apart.
Eighty years on when we sit with our grandchildren
under a smoke stung sky for a heavily
medicated drink to keep our souls
from succumbing to the dementors
within and without-
eighty years on,
if the world survives the next eight decades,
we will not tell them stories
of green grasses and playgrounds
and sunny skies and starry nights and rainy days,
stories our bedtime with grandma was made up of.
We will tell them stories of
rape and violence and war and abuse,
of Islamophobia and terrorism,
of cows as deities
and lynched human bodies as meat
and everything that was ghastly and could be named.
The princesses and princes in our stories
will be the leaders who raped children
and rioted to kill millions,
the leaders we chose for ourselves.
The palaces in our stories
will be refugee camps and orphanages,
the kingdoms war torn, blood stained deserts,
the chariot, trucks loaded with dead bodies,
the roses skeletons of used machine guns.

The end of our “once upon a time”
will not be a happily ever after.
Because eighty years on
we will be praying once again to our fairy god mother,
as we did on those starry nights and rainy days,
for dry eyes and happy ends,
for the clock not to strike midnight,
and for magical stories to tell our grandchildren.

artwork by Hanna Ilczyszyn


3 thoughts on “Stories We’ll Tell Our Grandchildren

  1. The imagery of the destruction being wrecked these days and of the terrifying future ahead of us, has been beautifully etched in the poem. The fear of the future depicted through storytelling is done wonderfully as well. The poem drips with pathos and is a powerful plea to save the present so that we may have a peaceful future.


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