One Finds Children

©Leslie Owen Wilson


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.


 Afterward: “In a corrupt world, to nurture is a revolutionary act.” George C. Wolfe

 Back to poetry index