TITLE: Painter Tom - 17 July 2018
By Dan Davis
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Walking in I grabbed my things,
with hair ties tamed my hair.
A brand new brush, a palate clean,
my canvas white and bare.
I placed my easel facing front
so that the kids could see,
and thought on how I love to paint
and how I love to teach.
I sat to take a quite breath
then heard the lunch bells ring.
The kids with play-things yet on mind
rushed in to take their seats.
But settled down to look around
at paintings on the wall.
I told them that with discipline
one day they'd make them all.
Task now at hand and dreams in mind
of what they'd like to make,
they watched close my every move
to see what we'd create.
But minutes passed as the scene grew,
my skill to great for them.
With ponytails and paint to fling
a ruckus soon began.
The loud ones yelled, the shy ones hid,
their focus all but gone.
One little girl began to cry
her painting looked so wrong.
Some destroyed the work of those who
looked like they'd done a lot.
Some, through time, would have made great things
but were careless, and did not.
But in the mess sat just one, still
painting his soul at ease.
Through chaos he kept in his heart
the hope of greater things.
At seeing this, the ruckus stopped,
the room was filled with calm.
And all the children gathering 'round
watched the work of little Tom.
His brow was tense, his eyes were fierce,
eternity on mind.
He paid no heed to growing fame
or to the passing time.
His hands moved quick and careful as
he tried hard not to fall.
The others, captured by his moves,
stood still in silent awe.
I too, enthralled, left my brush
to see what Tom had made.
I walked to get a better view
and found myself amazed.
With stripes of red and blue and green,
not a line was clean.
It seemed to me the most beautiful work
my eyes had yet perceived.
The shades were mixed in random ways.
His thumb prints blurred the sky.
The yellows in his oval sun
matched his humble pride.
He came to me and tugged my pants
and beckoned me come low.
"I made this picture while in you,
now in you I can boast."
Sitting down, I picked him up
and placed him on my knee,
desiring now for him to rest
and fix his eyes on me.
I felt love and wanted much
to call this sheep my own,
who not in works, but in his heart
is like my son at home.
Through many years and many kids
and people I have loved,
not a soul will I hold as dear
as my good friend, Painter Tom.
And not because he held a brush
and tried as many did,
But because through him the other kids
did see my light and live.
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