“We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh, no! We’ve got to go through it!”Michael Rosen
I cannot tell my kids that we are on a bear hunt. I can only muster lies by omission: It’s a beautiful day. Don’t be scared. I show them how to walk through walls of grass. We laugh when it sticks to our hair, but at the river, that deep, cold river, even they begin to see: the world is not a safe place. What kind of mother brings her children to the river? * We are still wet when the forest swallows us whole. Hand in hand we stumble, trip, break our knees open, wash our blood in the snow. * How do I keep them safe? I don't know the way under the dark, wet earth. If I shake the nails loose from my throat, would it be enough to build a bridge? * What kind of mother brings her children to the bear? Shows them how to reach into the dark mouth of its cave, thick with rot and scat and fear? This is the world, I want to say. The nose and fur and teeth of it. This is how we hold our hands out for the world.