Friday, July 15, 2022


The family’s grown by two
More disabled orphan boys,
One from South Korea, one

From a grim institution
Locally synonymous
With madness—You oughta be

In Greystone! runs the kids’ taunt,
Whenever some other kid
Says something ridiculous.

One boy has had polio
And speaks almost no English.
One’s spina bifida locked

Him into that asylum.
Neither had any parents
Before now, but here they are,

Adopted at the moment
The father is going broke,
Since no one’s eager to hire

A designer of custom
In a wheelchair, no less—not

With construction contraction
And the energy crisis.
The grandparents pay mortgage

For a few months, while scolding
About all the adoptions,
But in church the only talk

Is of how the Lord Provides.
The mother and father give
Testimony every week.

Collections are held for them.
Another school year begins,
Four kids in, two boys held out

Until they have some small chance
Of passing, at least a grade
Or two behind for their age.

The oldest kid, in sixth grade,
Who was once an only child,
Collects leaves for his scrapbook

From the feral, second-growth
Hardwoods surrounding the house,
Gluing and labeling them.

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