The Hierarchy

Again, we bend our days and dollars
to display those affections
which we construction in our children
as we build old man Maslow’s architecture
into their souls and sinew.

We water them with Dasani
and sustain them with grass-fed Whole Foods.
We wrap them in high thread count sheets
and festoon them with disposable fashions.
We baptize them with essential oils
in our open concept, bloated abodes.
We peacock about their expansive birthday parties
and create the conditions of attachment through obligatory therapy.
We sit long in the lobbies of their practice
and wait hours in uncomfortable chairs
to applaud their performances and participation trophies.
We clink and sink our fortunes into 529s
that they may actualize through college and career.
We would give them the world
if it weren’t increasingly uninhabitable.

Yet, elsewhere – children struggle and starve
amid this ever-flagrant abundance.
Yet, elsewhere – the line stretches
from chalkboard to parole board.
Yet, elsewhere – children absorb lead
in tap water, paint chips, and police rounds.
Yet, elsewhere is not here
and the first of Maslow’s Needs we actualize in our offspring
is the need not to see, not to hear, not to feel, not to know,
not to identify and empathize with elsewhere.

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