We commiserate so often
About all the questions
Our children ask
The constant chorus

But maybe we should
Think more about the
Questions they don’t ask.

The things they know
Already are too secret
Or too shameful
To be spoken aloud,

The places they pick up
On our uneasy shifting,
The averted gaze,
The quick distraction;

Or worse – the pregnant
Pause before we answer
In too-bright tones, saying
Words we only half believe.

The questions they never ask
Point us in the direction
Of our own fears, our
Unseen hypocrisies,

And our own childhoods
At the cusp of the moment
When we ourselves first
Learned to stop asking why.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash