Only Children, by Gil Hoy

Last night I dreamed
workers painting my house

Brought all of their children
to work in the morning

With brushes and buckets
of water, to wash and to clean

To scrub hundreds of faces,
like paintings on canvas,

That had appeared overnight
on the walls of my house.

Faces of crying children
in chain-link cages

Taken from their parents
by a cruel, callous man.

Black faces, white faces
yellow, red and brown

And the workers’ children
all the while washing
and scrubbing

But never hurting the faces.

And me, all the while looking on
with a growing awareness

of a feeling of shame
coming from deep inside.


Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and trial lawyer who studied poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program. Hoy received a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy’s poetry has appeared (or will be appearing) most recently in Chiron Review, Ariel Chart, Social Justice Poetry, Poetry24, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, The Penmen Review, I am not a silent poet, The New Verse News and Clark Street Review

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