The Obituary of Innocence: A Poetic Discourse

Innocence is a beautiful thing. It is Ignorance that breeds innocence. when we can’t perceive the realities around us, our world is rendered that smaller, simpler… and it is often those large things in life, those large concepts that take time to wrap our heads around, that invoke our fear and displeasure with the world around us. Innocence is like a warm blanket, such that no matter the fickle and dynamic toils from day to day, a soft bed and thick blanket always seem to render these experiences void, ushering us instead into a simple world of fantasy and of intangible reality. But innocence can also be briefer. Innocence can greet you like a warm caress of wind on a cold day… that God graced pocket of air that made the cold that much more tolerable, if not manifesting as only a moment of serenity.

We’ve come to mock the ignorant, demeaning them as childish and narrow minded. But can any of our disillusioned smiles possibly compete with the undisguised glee of a young child, golden licks flying, beaming in satisfaction at some trivial matter or another, as though the world has morphed into a state of paradisiacal bliss? I am sorry dear comrades but no. Each day the world brutally tears away at our blankets, the cold wind hits a little harder, the weight of these heavy realities rests evermore intangibly but surely on our shoulders always. Brief moments of happiness may erase these realities from our perceptual landscape, but it takes only one imperfection in the skyline to make us glance twice at the horizon, fixating on that one spot of impurity when we take the time to perceive the finer details around us.

But not the ignorant. For them the lines of ink capturing our lives are blurred, adapting, never set in stone. They write their own stories because they have no barriers of reality stopping their will. Anything is possible when your world is a fuzzed painting, colors abounding, designs behaving no law of pattern, rhyme or reason. With innocence, our urge to rationalize and explain occurrences around us are hidden beneath the rose-colored glasses we wear.

Like ignorance breeds innocence, so innocence breeds idealism. Those who cannot understand physical or mental barriers are quick to assume that their path toward some goal will be free of obstacle, free of strife, free of mistakes. While they are indeed seriously misinformed in this regard, would not it be wonderful to imagine a generous paycheck without considering the hours of labor drained to earn that one slip of paper? Oh, how life would be so easy then…

But of course, life has never been so simple. Girls raped at a young age, children tortured by hunger, lulled to sleep by bullets of war, exposed to narcotics and intoxicating highs, starving themselves for vanity and fear of acceptance, shoved in corners where depression and anxiety run wild, forced to tolerate domestic abuse with silent screams of agony… through each experience some innocence is carved out, replaced by an imprint of pain and reality so harsh that tears come to the eyes of those who hear about such stories. Only in our world do such tragedies occur, do we rob children of their closest companion, innocence.

Nevermore will that girl forget the cruelty of man… nevermore will that abused child seek the comfort of a parents’ embrace. They have been shown the ugly truths of life long before due. They are no longer ignorant… their knowledge of violence transcends what most adults experience in a lifetime of toils on Earth. For them, the obituary of innocence has been written, plagued by a cancer so lethal it strikes like a snake’s flick of the tongue. The poison seeps into the innocent’s blood, changing their perception to the gross reality we ruthlessly shove down their throats.

Why must we be the destroyers of something so beautiful? Why do we earnestly tear down the castles of simplicity that want our children in blissful sleep? Answer not but acknowledge the truth.

Who takes away our children’s innocence?

-Prathysha Kothare, PA