a better question
that dead-tired question inflicted on a child
a thousand times or more:
“what do you want to be when you grow up?”
an adult’s conversational gambit
elicits a Pavlovian response:
fireman, doctor, nurse, policeman
from the child who (hopefully)
has never smelled a building burn,
never delivered news of death,
believes in Good and Bad.
A chuckle, a pat on the head, a moment wasted.
“what are you now?”
a start on the question
that most never ask or answer
even when they grow up.