The Enigma of a Child


Why should I grieve when children look away,

Avoiding the direct and steady gaze

That all too clearly shows their conscious guilt?

Why should I doubt when wise men have their say

That they need punishment to mend their ways?

That spilling blood atones for blood that’s spilled?

Why should I strive and wrestle with the clay,

Dull, unresponsive clay, or hope to raise

Some buried treasure from primeval silt?

Can I replace the parents, e’en to-day?

Let those to whom a child’s mind is a book,

An elementary primer, childish, clear,

Remember they will find there, tier on tier,

A foreign language, if they closely look.


Weekly Times     22.4.60