His Name Wasn’t John: A Poem

Content Warning: This poem addresses child trafficking and child laundering. This poem is based on true events. Reader discretion is advised.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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 trafficking and consider getting involved with Save The Children.

The Corpus Of Jane Doe – A Poem

Content Warning: This poem may not be suitable for all audiences and may contain information that some could find upsetting. Reader discretion is advised.
A statue of St. Francis of Assisi - the patron saint against dying alone

The Corpus Of Jane Doe

A mountain of paperwork
Encumbers my day
In the mortuary she waits-
Chalk-white and purple
Coagulated blood at the points
We knew to be the lowest
Where she laid waiting to be found

She is your typical body-
No tattoos or piercings
Barely more information than:
Hair, Eyes, Skin, Size

What is the immutable?

She had an identity with a past:
Information trapped behind
Unmoving lips and rigor mortis
Lost to the depths of an unseen mind

Someone loved this woman:
Her vibrant smile I never see
How her cheeks flushed
At compliments or with tears

We gather information
-what we objectively know-
To approximate backward
Into a time before death
When parents held a baby
And gave her a name


Thank you so much for reading my poem today! If you found its words meaningful, please consider liking, commenting, and/or sharing it with others. Truly, I am grateful for the time you spent reading my work.

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