“Disarmed” by Wendy Videlock

I should be diligent and firm,
I know I should, and frowning, too;
again you’ve failed to clean your room.
Not only that, the evidence
of midnight theft is in your bed—
cracked peanut shells and m&m’s
are crumbled where you rest your head,
and just above, the windowsill
is crowded with a green giraffe
(who’s peering through your telescope),
some dominoes, and half a glass
of orange juice. You hungry child,

how could I be uncharmed by this,
your secret world, your happy mess?

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“I got past childhood somehow”

“I got past childhood somehow. I never understood why people sing such paeans to childhood. Childhood exemplifies restrictions and deprivations. When one grows up one acquires positions from which one can fight injustice. […] A lack of equality is found not only among the rich and the poor; it exists in a more intense form in the power relationship between men and women.”

— Ismat Chughtai, “A Life in Words: Memoirs” (Penguin, 2012)