1 min read
We Can See You
by Ben Mitchell

Each time I meet a grown man who
cannot read, it comes in waves: First
 
I see myself as a small child, and I 
am terrified by the enormity of the violence. I

feel shame, begin to panic, hopeless, 

hopeless, hopeless, an impulse to scream, but I
stop.  I remember I 

can read.  Crumbling as terror
gives way to relief, relief to gratitude: Thank you, 

Sarah Mitchell, for not taking their word for it. Mrs. Landess
who said it would be OK if I lost the crayons. And Mrs. Wassermann, 

She showed me 
the exceptions– neither leisured foreigner seized 

the weird height. And then, Mr. Meed
 who “liked” my paper. And::: Kate Haigne, especially

Kate Haigne who would take us “to the river, our
favorite prepositional phrase.”    The tools 

to participate in the great human conversation 
are no small thing. So I write my truth, and try 

to understand the world, but tell me: where
will I find the courage to keep reliving this 

stupid, futile battle? Each new generation
trampled under the crush, and how to rise just long enough 

to cry out, “We are here, and we
can see you.”