How to Keep People You Love Safe: An Incomplete List

Wrap them in cotton batting.
Put them in a tall tower with just one door to which only you have the key.
Don’t let them cross busy streets, maybe any street.

Hire others to watch over them.
Screen all their companions.
Taste their food to make sure it isn’t poisoned.

Pray for them.
Light candles.
Sacrifice animals or, if your culture permits, even other humans.

Raise them to be cautious.
Forbid them to do anything dangerous.
Yell at them when they do something dangerous.

Warn them about every single threat you can think of.
Tell them cautionary tales from your and everyone else’s life.
Send them electrons about the latest perils, from wars to microbes.

Worry about them.
Hug them tight.
Let them live their own lives.

Published:  CRAM 5  2009  National Poetry Month Edition Press