Pretty Things, a poem by Nick Allison at
Ralph Nas

Pretty Things

Pretty Things

written by: Nick Allison


She draws pretty things,
as girls her age often do, like this
pastel blue dog with floppy ears
and long-lashed, starry eyes,
crying big, shiny pink tears
sparkling down like diamonds,
carving rivers through forests of fur,
before cratering like asteroids
near the bottom of the page,
where they form pools of turquoise
that ripple and expand outward
as children cannonball
from frayed rope swings
tied to grand old cypress trees,

fleeing the oppressive summer heat,
and the tales of distant wars, and
not so distant shooting sprees,
stories shared with teachers
and friends in elementary schools,
as they practice monthly drills
to prepare for unthinkable violence
they’ve come to accept
as not just possible, but a part of reality—
a failure not of their making,
but of their parents’ generation,
and the generations before,
who have failed their collective mission
to preserve the innocence of childhood.

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