Don’t Buy Your Children A Map.


don’t buy your children a map

of the world, an atlas,

and pin it up on upon their pristine painted wall,

the one you debated over duck egg and random

sunflower corn,

don’t let them see a plan

of a country far away, memorise

the city streets via an A to Z

and learn facts of towns

and villages that hold dark

enticing secrets, places of interest,


do not let your children

write an old fashioned letter

or talk via electronic media

to a child in those towns,

do not buy them books

concerned with geography, environment

and the pursuit of knowledge

from across this big ol’ world of ours;

do not let them take them beyond the end

of the street…


you accept that they have the right to one day

breathe in the air of another place,

to immerse themselves in culture,

to dream, to plan, to smile

when they see a letter with Par Avion

stamped invitingly

come see, come stay,

to mix freely with different creed and background,

to learn, to grow, to teach,

to talk with fondness of others

in a different time]when they too wish to

impart knowledge of the world

to their own children and hope

that the world becomes a nicer place

because they learned to dream

and learn as a child;

parents, please don’t give them a map

of the world

if all you are going to do

is clip their wings.


Ian D. Hall 2017