To the parents who complained about my child:
You complained because my child used the words that your child taught him, but louder. You complained because my child challenges the whispered insults that your child delivers and that made you uncomfortable. You complained because my child appears very slightly different from yours and you used words that would damn him in your world, that would cause him immense and ongoing pain and difficulty if you had been able to but you are wrong, not about the words or the issue or the future that you wanted for him but wrong about the difference; the difference is not slight, my child is a glorious gilded giant and you are too small to even see past the stitching on the sole of his shoe.
I claimed anger with you for your complaint and the upset it caused, for the fact that it made us feel wrong when we aren’t. I said that I felt anger when I knew what you were doing and as the days have passed and the initial shock has settled I realise that the tiny pin hole that is you has allowed a growing rip in something that I thought was solid to unravel into a screaming, rending, irreparable gash and behind it was Anger herself. Now I am the tiny speck and my Anger is a towering fury that has poured herself through what is left of the frayed edges of barrier that contained her.
She is fire and gold. She is trailing you and all those who came before you with their petty judgments and personal failures as dust on the hem of her golden feathered cloak. She has all the systems that call themselves support and who never show up grasped in her jewelled fists and she is raising them to the black and howling storm. She has the world as you see it in a crumpled ball of greying tissue that will simply vanish into her flames. You are nothing.
And look, there on her shoulders is my son. My son who was born to a woman whose battle with your small life rules had been lost. My son who inherited her bruises and her scars and who has tried so hard to limp along in the shoes you gave him but that are always too small for him. And look. My son is dancing on the shoulders of Anger. He is throwing his head back and he is crowing with the joy of his freedom and the beauty of his own world. My son is a barefoot dancer.
And hear, hear his words above the roar and the howling of the storm that is Anger’s song. His words are rubies and sapphires, mountains of jewels and glory that you can only squint at through your closed eyes. He makes his words spiral and dip, rise and fall and he is a poet.
And above the smoke and the fringes of anger’s burring there is a sweetness, a rich dark sap of scent that wraps lazy fingers around the copper could of Anger’s hair and it is my boy, the essence of him that sits so well here, is so safe, so cushioned.
So watch, if you dare, and listen to my Anger.