The Black Children

In China, until rather recently,
each pair of parents was allowed one kid,
according to the “one-child policy.”
Some parents had another, which they hid.

Unregistered, these kids are sometimes sold
to traffickers who make them prostitutes.
If they refuse, they’re left out in the cold;
thus little girls are raped by savage brutes.

The Communists refuse them legal aid;
they call these children “black,” deny their life,
deny them rights, deny them getting paid,
deny them education, give them strife.

Despite all this, these children still exist;
To save them from this hell, we must persist.


Sonnet to the Muse

O Muse, who once inspired Homer blind
with visions, who once spent poor Milton’s light,
who gave to Vergil such a shining mind,
who clearly gifted Shakespeare special sight,
and Ovid and Catullus, Sappho too,
Pope, Heaney, Donne, Lucretius, Auden, Poe,
myself — we all owe all our voice to you,
O Muse, whom every poet seeks to know —
return! And let your voice be heard once more,
which has so long been silent in our land.
Let once again your rhythmic pipes of lore
find understanding ears, your pen a hand.
Let meter’s measured feet beat sweet refrains,
and rhyme entwine with poetry its strains!


J. David Graham is a father, husband, and poet. He is a Classicist by training, currently working on a metered translation of the Aeneid.

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