This forgotten poem is from sometime between 2003 – 2007. The meaning is likely having to do with my choice having been made from an early age that I preferred the idea of adopting a child over having a biological one. That said, these poems always have open interpretations.
Dreams Of An Unborn Child
Oh little flower of Eden Out of reach for all who be Be picked for creation For all the earth to see
Thank you for taking the time to read this poem today! Have you ever found any of your old writing? What did you think of it? What do you think of this one? I’d love to hear in the comments!
If you’d like to see more of my forgotten poetry, please like, comment, and/or share this post. It helps me know what content my readers are most interested in seeing, so I can better know what to share here.
Content Warning: This poem addresses child trafficking and child laundering. This poem is based on true events. Reader discretion is advised.
His Name Wasn’t John
We play in his backyard Conquer the big rock Footholds covered in Light blue-grey lichen While he says Strange things To a five year old mind He talks of Africa He talks of memories: His parents still alive (Not the white couple inside) He says They brought groceries He says he didn’t always speak English Before the human trafficking, [I’m sorry] Adoption.
Thank you so much for reading this poem. If you found yourself moved, please consider liking, commenting, and/or sharing it with others. Truly, I am grateful for the time you spent reading my work. While you’re here, if this sparked anger in you as it did for me when I realized that this happened to a childhood friend of mine, please check out UNICEF’s page on child traffickingand consider getting involved with Save The Children.
Before you read this post, please take a moment to read my short story on Coffee House Writers here.
Read it? Alright then. Let me take a deep breath. It’s time for me to get vulnerable with you. These emotions are weird and difficult for me.
This piece is fiction, but there are pieces of this story that are true. I left out parts. I toned it down. I changed names, places, and made up new people and circumstances. Hannah is fictional. My partner is my best friend, he would never abandon me, and is one of the most understanding human beings on this planet – don’t you dare think that this story is in any way about him. Time to clarify some things just in case.
What is based on truth is the public transportation incident that the main character experienced as well as other aspects of trauma. I’m unusual. There was never a time in my memory before vitiligo and for that I am grateful. I never experienced loss, though it has grown. When my parents first took me outside as an infant and I started to tan it was there. Family members talked. They knew it affected me, but when I heard the words “deformed” and “disfigured” I internalized it. Growing up in very remote areas of the United States, even today there are people that believe it is a mark of demonic possession or worse. Luckily, I have a loving amazing family.
The public transportation incident in the story is based on when I lived in San Francisco. In 2016, an elderly woman beat me with her cane during evening rush hour while yelling, “Leper,” and, “Stop Touching Me!” I was not touching her. No one said anything or stopped her, but they sure stared at me. I got out early and walked the rest of the way home. Try and imagine the terror of being beaten in public by an old woman in front of a crowded light rail train car in rush hour while no one said a word. You there yet? Cool.
I didn’t include every example of vitiligo changing what someone saw or how they acted toward me in the story. I have been refused service at restaurants because they didn’t want a “leper” touching their plates or tables (this happened in Niagara Falls, ON). Questions like “when were you in a fire?” or later, after years of working in laboratories, “were you in an accident?” are always a fun time. These are the examples that come to mind.
We’re not looking for a perfect child. We will love a child with an addiction – even if it was a choice of coping mechanism in the moment or however it started. We already love people with addictions. They aren’t broken and they can be successful if given the support they need.
Want to help make change? Donate your time as a mentor or become a foster parent. Respite care can be for anything from a couple hours to a couple days and helps kids in foster care and families within your community that may need temporary childcare. Mentoring involves spending time with a kid to provide them with a role model and someone to spend time with. Multiple organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club and Big Brother Big Sister offer mentoring opportunities. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a great way to support children going through the legal system – a terrifying process for kids. Before donating money, look to your local community first.
Anyways – this story is dedicated to an incredible young person named Olivia. There’s my soapbox. I’ll get back to writing my short stories and book reviews. These emotion things are weird.