The Least of These

Balloons (2000). Oil on canvas. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

In the golden age of our aspiration, the one just beyond our reach, where what is new and what is just are one and the same, children, all children, dream big, love freely, and live long, happy, and healthy lives.

We are a people too large and diverse to govern, yet persevere we must. There are children here whom,  through separation, or despair, or violence, are in danger of entering a cycle of tragedy  – and the government is a party to this.

No child should be made to believe that that he or she has no place in this world.

There is reason to think we can do better, to build a world where children may walk among the nations unfettered,  where these angels shall have no reason to envy the heavens.

Danny Grosso

Low Life Corner ‘80

Nighttime on Low Life Corner ‘80 (2018) – Acrylic and oil on cardboard. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

The Slip Kid is late but

I’ve got the cash

to buy cigarettes and gas.

The Greek at the counter

says he’ll take a pass

on tomorrow’s race

he’s betting too fast.

Change in the pay phone

sounds like the Clash

but it’s her voice I hear

and I’m past it.


The neon bleeds on the window pane in

the middle of a starry sea and

into the phone she sings

La dee deeee dee dee dee –

come play on the corner with me.


Driving slow on streets aglow

boat on illuminated sea

port on a curb

more than I deserve

‘cause they’re always there waiting for me.

We’re nine tonight, more boys than girls

but double as the night unfurls and

when the Mars Lights appear

like a movie premiere

they make the blight disappear.

It’s not easy in this time of change

this American morning’s so strange

the flags returned but the jobs went away

and pushed us into the fray.


And now we run or stay and pray.


The neon bleeds on the window pane

in the middle of a starry sea

as a siren of the alleys she sings

La dee deeee dee dee dee –

come play on the corner with me.


Those days are like dreams

that the lights chased away

while alone in a shadow I stayed.

Still it’s real that I feel

your voice’s constant appeal

to never abide my dismay.

Step into my shadow I say;

you say come out and play.


-Danny Grosso