padded walls

cradling man-sized ladybugs
and climbing lived-in trees
this is the education we give our children
then we wonder at why they leaveith not the house at 18
“in childhood things were softer,” they say innocently enough, “foam enforced, carpeted, with padded walls.”
the real world they fought over patterned flowers on their mall floors and argued over who could jump to the next butterfly
they cradled themselves in tunnels of plastic, sterile, blue, climbing stairs and exiting slides
we taught life would be easy ups and slippery downs
we taught life lessons when we thought we were encouraging play time
taught padded walls as we cemented the forest
introduced easy-together legos in our rusting, over-heating, perishable, use-by-thursday world
and yet we wonder
we ponder
scratching our heads
eating smooth peanut butter on wonderbread and drinking pulp-free juice from disposable cups

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