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