The Sculptor
I took a piece of potter's clay
And idly fashioned it one day,
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded to my will.

I came again when days were passed,
The bit of clay was hard at last.
The form I gave it, still it bore,
And I could change that form no more.

I took a piece of living clay
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art,
A young child's soft and yielding heart.

I came again when years were gone,
It was a man I looked upon.
He still that early impress wore,
And I could change him nevermore.

-- Author Unknown
I first read this poem when my son was a toddler.  It made such an
impression on me that I framed it and placed it on the wall of his
room.  As he got older, the little poem changed rooms, but it always
had a place on one wall or another, a place where I could refer to it
from time to time, to remind myself that what we say to (or in front
of) a child can make a lasting impression, for better or worse.
Probably some time after he'd graduated from college, the little
was relegated to a box of mementos and made its way to a
closet shelf.  But I brought it out of retirement when my
granddaughter was born
, a reminder of something important -
something precious -
something that can so easily be forgotten.
-- Nancy