Perilous Times by Olivia Williams

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Mama told me to stay away from the stove

She said I’d get burned

Daddy said don’t walk outside by yourself

because the streets are not safe for little girls

Grandma said don’t talk to strangers

because you don’t know their intentions 

But the unknown is a craving

when you're not allowed to have it

It’s the reason why I still brought myself to

the scorching heat

when my mother said stay away

It’s the reason why I tried to wander the park

by myself

when daddy said hold someone’s hand

It’s the reason why I smile

when strangers say the strangest things,

because even if the unknown is the

most frightening thing

everyone still wants the why

I used to watch the news and see

crashed planes

car accidents

girls stolen

babies kidnapped

black boy shot

black man pulled over

hangings in the south

tornadoes

tsunamis

confederate flags used to send a message

to black kids

women abused by men

muslims framed as terrorist

Girls not allowed to have an education

Donald trump vs. America

God said once Adam and Eve ate from that tree

we would all be born with sin in our flesh

feeding on our spirits,

but I didn’t know they’d let it kill their souls

and now the people I love…

make sure I see the world, but I’m not in the world

I have a clear view through a glass

stained with blood from the world's dying heart

And sometimes I find myself wanting that blood

on my hands

I find myself aching to set my heart, mind, and soul

on the front lines

Knowing what comes next

But not caring

because at least I would have felt it

at least I would have found the “why”

in these perilous times

Is it wrong for me to want to meet the demon

causing the world to drown

and feel his wrath for myself because just maybe if I

face this thing nobody else wants to

I can save the ones who don't deserve to go down

And prove a power that lives beyond our existence

Tekeisha Meade