Jewish Child, Indirect Adoption

Lily
the miniature
daschund
chasing
disks
balls
a stick
snaps
invariably
their imaginary
necks
with a
toss of
her angelic
head
no one
told her
to do this

     —

When he’d read
their Book
entire
by fifth
grade
the parents
marveled
as they
backed away

     —

Despite
his size
he’d strike
only out
prone to
travel
he’d stubbornly
rebound

     —

never
picked for
(only on)
he wouldn’t
just vanish
showing up
insistently
where other
children belonged
fumbling

     —

No one
knew
not the parents
normally
parochial
not the relatives
unusually
tolerant
of the constant
thoughts sounds
they
couldn’t follow
as of a sincere
animal
they’d reach over
and pat
call him good

not the nuns
who assumed
some secret calling
a priestly destiny
a birth sealed

not their
angel
miniatures
who
chased him
after Good
Friday service

snapped
his head
back with
each blow
left him
out
cold
without
a thought
a sound

no one
told them
to do this

they just
knew

 

Indirect adoption: One in which all information about the child or either set of parents is kept secret.

 

Wayne-Daniel Berard teaches English and Humanities at Nichols College in Dudley, MA. An adoptee and former Franciscan seminarian, his birth-search led him to find and embrace his Jewishness. Wayne-Daniel is a Peace Chaplain, an interfaith clergy person, and a member of B’nai Or of Boston. He has published widely in both poetry and prose, and is the co-founding editor of Soul-Lit, an online journal of spiritual poetry. He lives in Mansfield, MA with his wife, The Lovely Christine.