A Name For Our Second Born Son

On August 2nd, 2010, we named our second son Zion.

Named him Zion because when you live in Babylon

it becomes necessary to imagine elsewhere,

and so I imagined it in him.

 

Dreamt of home in my beautiful brown child

re-mapping it from his body like the North Star.

 

Each night I read him James Matthew’s Freedom’s Child-

tell him that we don’t go through back doors-

watch him fall asleep with the breath of god at his lips.

 

Sometimes I admit I wonder if I’m raising him too proud,

knowing his erect back might fall prey

to the wolf or fox among us.

 

Knowing that our names have been stolen from us also.

Our very bodies broken

and disappeared.

 

And I fear that he might suffer from this name-

sense myself tucking it beneath my tongue

in an attempt to shelter him.

 

Shelter him from this colony,

from this cyclical nightmare,

this continued terror

from which there has yet to be post….trauma.

 

I’m too easily angered with him.

There are certain days in which this

has become easier than fighting the real enemy.

 

Or perhaps this is some sick preparation

for the clipping of wings.

The, “don’t get too loud”

“don’t ask too many questions”

that we think might save their life.

 

And yet I know better.

I know that cautioned sons

and daughters are just as

easily fired on-

 

know too many cautious parents

grieving.

 

Elsewhere is far simpler to imagine

when we think we need risk nothing,

and I have sensed a curious danger

in our safety.

 

And so I will tell my son in the morning

that the present is dangerous,

but that only those who risk living there

may build the temple for tomorrow.

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