What Children Learn

It is in childhood
we learn grace or abuse

As the branch of the tree
is bent so will bend the limb
The child which goes unloved
will find his reasons to hate
The child overly`adulated
will see himself as great
and others weak

Look at the child
you see parent & adult
How the rivulet carves silt
is how the stream cuts rock
until it has formed the gorge
It’s how the gods are made
who live in the mythology
of ancient modern time
They are a Brand

The free market
goes for a good brand
Armani makes a fine suit
Starbucks brews good lattes
But when the brand gets on us
when the Others among us
get numbered & deported
like cattle on the range
none will be free

“Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.” ~ W.H. Auden

Auden’s complete poem September 1, 1939 can be found at https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/september-1-1939


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
This entry was posted in free verse, poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What Children Learn

  1. unfortunately true…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nothing breaks my heart so much as the thought of an unloved child


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