Children of Steel
Children of Steel
Oil on canvas
24x36
2005


Children of Steel

They rise to a crucible of dry dusty streets, their joy fired under a deafening sun
Pastel plastic bags are the tumbleweed confetti for their parade of youth
And fashioned into a sphere for an endless afternoon
Wide, eager eyes and bright white smiles and dreams hardened on the prospects of cleaning cars with a dry rag and a can for coins

They are the daydreams of an unwashed world
The bright reflection of an unreachable place
They run unaware of their poverty and so in them no poverty exists
Stainless and un-scored by the sharpness of want
These are bricks made without straw, the unexpected blossoms of an untended garden, nourished by rain from a cloudless sky

They are Hope’s unburdened seedlings
Sprouting with no husbandman and running barefoot among stones
Needing only to be watered with the knowledge that they matter
Pruned with Love’s discipline and staked by Faith’s hand
Fenced with prudence from small-hearted men with heavy despotic eyes who devour even the seed corn of an abundant harvest

They are the ones of whom He spoke, “Feed my sheep”
In a land of unbridled avarice these are pearls among swine
In a land want of secure foundations these are stones rejected
A multitude of salvation passing unnoticed at midday
These are the dawnlight stars in whose bosoms briefly pause a new morning’s promise, from whose metal will be wrought the day’s swords or ploughshares

These are whom we seek for these are Children of Steel

RV Gusentine
Camp Lemonier, Djibouti