Poem: “Who Would Dare Smile?”

Who Would Dare Smile?

Don’t read this if your heart is soft,
Your heart is not of granite stone
I speak of Patrick, less than two
Whose parents beat and broke his bones

 When officers arrived too late
To save his little life, febrile,
With broken back and broken ribs
Sweet Patrick tried to smile

One who heard the news of it
Said: Man is evil, dogs are best,
Give me some dogs to keep and love,
The filth of Man is manifest

Who can argue, I may not,
They crucified a tender child,
As Man flogged God and hung him up
On wooden beams, the infant smiled

A love as potent as the Cross
That comes to us by Jesus’ grace –
Who would behold the crimes of us
And dare smile in His face?

May 19, 2011

Pavel Chichikov is a Washington DC-based poet and photographer. He has written for both the secular and the Catholic press on issues as diverse as Russian nuclear weapons systems, Olympic athletes, and miracles. His books include From Here to Babylon: Poems by Pavel Chichikov,  Lion Sun: Poems by Pavel Chichikov, Mysteries and Stations in the Manner of Ignatius, and Animal Kingdom. Pavel may be heard reading his works on catholicradiointernational.com and on pavelreads.com. His poetry regularly appears on "The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov."