Singing in the darkness
One finds children by the sweetness of their voices.
Clothed in a protective mantle of something ethereal
Many children manage to survive
The frayed, raw-edged abuses of this world —
Without the hatred and ugliness of their surroundings piercing their invisible armor of virtue and resiliency
Survival is often a mysterious gift. Celebrate those who have endured.
There are unimaginable horrors
Some inflicted by the mental manifestations of
Distorted values and intentions gone awry.
Words come as poisoned-arrowed messengers of doubt and condemnation.
Launched to wound direct hits,
And aimed straight at newly-forming minds.
Self-esteem leaves early when it does not find a welcoming home.
Worse yet, the evil sometimes escapes the shadows of adulthood
Slithering away to feed upon the ripening bodies of the young.
With the vapid caresses of perversity or
With kiss-fisted violence,
Or agonizing hunger.
Deep scars serrate forming psyches — sometimes forever.
Trust often abandons corrupted, starving bodies.
And then there’s bigotry
And legacies of hate
Intolerance, and mistrust.
We imprint young minds with such awful stuff.
With ideas that are calculated
To juxtapose the young from the rest of humankind.
Bigots are not born, they are made, and peace does not grow without light entering its circle.
Smiling through the darkness
One finds children by the scent of their survival
Sheltered by the glory of their own ideals and inward beauty
Protected by unseen forces of good
Many children grow and flourish
Despite the world’s efforts at contamination.
Miraculously, sometimes strength, courage, and gentle kindness grow in between the cracks of adult corruption.