the little punks have always counted on a faith in wishing wells, mouths of babes, a fear of dogs and wolves, a trail of breadcrumbs to the fire that boils the witch’s skin. they do a staggering amount of coping lately. the little punks on migration routes, yelling grievance in the winds. they drink molotov cocktails now. so the little punks breathe fire at all paperwork. bedtime fairy tales were stored in the little punks’ brains from the time those brains were mush. emperors can still be naked and jailed because in the long run, the character of the little punks demands that kings be punished. if the pigs who used straw and twigs lost their shelter, it is obvious to the little punks that their weapon is the brick. the little punks poison all the apples, shatter glass slippers with those bricks. and too, the beanstalks are property of the little punks. a country is the sum total of the character of its little punks. take the little punks seriously. they were children once and now again. can i please be a little punk? they hide axes in each mattress. the little punks are coming. no one sleeps when the little punks count. so can i join? can i be a little punk, too?
David James Brock’s first collection of poetry is Everyone is CO2 (Wolsak & Wynn, 2014), and he is the co-creator of Breath Cycle, an opera developed for singers with cystic fibrosis. Learn more about his plays, poetry, and operas at www.davidjamesbrock.com.