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What do we mean when we say children are God’s artistry as preachers are wont to do during baptisms,
deleting from their homilies words like “daughter” and “girl”
as they exhort their faithful not to deface her beauty?

Her cries, while precious, necessary, compelling her mother
from tranquil acceptance to energized aid in the nursery,
are hardly melodic like deft little fingers
dropped by a pianist on his Steinway, the right hand
aware of what the left, separate, is doing,
darting playfully after a soprano’s coy scales
as an orderly bass-clef foundations this sanctuary, physical, real.

Infantile outbursts for food and cleansing,
though expressive, honest, fail in comparison to a reserved recital,
and likewise, the Whitman resembling Monet’s impressions
of water-lilies inspire far more than photographs
spontaneously captured on a walk through the park,
one an orchestrated cacophony of color,
pinks, lavenders, oranges, and blues, what we enjoy,
care for, remember most, intangible
light-rays lingering in a dimly viewed mirror,
the other a firm fact snatched abruptly from history.

These bright clumps of paint teach what the blind man believed, what, in juvenile terms, exhausted, his soul truly loved,
compulsory observations revealing a pregnant body
which reminds he, like us, the photographers, was conceived,
our complex capacity for creation intimating an unseen Father.





Photo Credit: dopamineharper

Nathaniel A. Schmidt

Nathaniel A. Schmidt

Nathaniel A. Schmidt is a chaplain in the Christian Reformed Church and holds degrees from Calvin Theological Seminary, Calvin University, and The University of Illinois, Springfield. His first collection of poems, An Evensong, is available from Wipf and Stock. He lives with his librarian wife, Lydia, and their daughter in Norton Shores, MI, meaning life is a perpetual story-time.