Poor children, laughing, running in the sun;
Blind to their own plight on the edges of unforgiving streets,
Unable to imagine the tough future
So soon awaiting them.
Children, crowds of bright-eyed little ones,
Shouting in glee to be free, to be out,
To play, to tumble, to live;
Tired parents, thin-lipped and proud, watching in deep sadness.
Parents locked in their own, often private, fierce struggle to hang on,
With rent to pay and work to finish, hours to press and pile up;
Will seems to seep out of life by evening, never enough to go around,
Hoping again against hard hope at sunrise.
Families longing for a chance, just an opening,
Blocked, hemmed in, pressed down,
As if on a steep, dark, precarious climb
To a very familiar nowhere.
So many children, so many parents,
An almost raging flow of faces
Flooding the outposts of kindness,
Weary kindness, masquerading as opportunity.
The hurried, distracted privileged almost unaware and on the make;
Ignorant of the suffering of meagerly supplied neighbors,
Unseen masses, the others, the abstracted "they," kept safely away,
As over against the "we" who know best about life and its navigation.
The common space faith could provide,
Acts as an ironic barrier, a reasoned argument for
Keeping things as they are,
After all, God knows and does not forsake his own.
Children running in the bright, bright sun,
Laughing and blind, for now, to the harshness of life,
Joyous and unknowing,
Not unlike the majority, blind to justice and its forgotten, unfinished work.