#Throwdown Thursday (3/22/18): A Shattering Truth

A Shattering Truth


You and Dad tried to conceive for twelve years before you decided to adopt. You told me that story often enough: how I grabbed your pinky when you visited candidate babies, and you knew I was the one. But what happened when Robert was born?

He came two-and-a-half years after me, the child you for whom you waited those twelve years. When he did, I become the sign, not only of how long you waited, but what you became: the birth mother of a handicapped child.

If that’s so for you, how much more so was that for Dad?

You both had buried that shame. But it sickened us all, as all secrets do. And this is the truth that we never told.

And never will.

empty rooms
how quickly you turn the page
of your photo album


photo by Denny Müller


first published on Image Curve, March 22, 2018


for dVerse Poets Open Link Night #216, Bjork pubtending




23 replies »

  1. This is so moving! Sometimes people have too many expectations when it comes to children… they forget that everyone comes with baggage and that all of us have weaknesses and flaws. I have a cousin who is mentally retarded and am aware of the difficulties that his family faces, so I can resonate (to some extent) I believe deep down we do care about our loved ones no matter what 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How obvious your pain Frank, and how the memories still hurt. From fine words you have written before, I get the impression your childhood was an emotional rollercoaster.
    I (think) I remember a previous post of yours, when you visited your brother at Christmas or maybe Thanksgiving, where you dealt with your emotions then, upon leaving him behind.
    From your words above, I wonder if your brother was abandoned, “buried” in a children’s home, became a terrible and haunting secret?
    You have not let go of the bond Frank and you should be proud of that.
    Much respect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I appreciate your feedback. My brother was not abandoned. However, my father’s denial of my brother’s disability divided him and my mother. Their collective shame in this sense is what they buried.


  3. Frank, we adopted a 3 year old boy after 20 years of infertility. He had suffered abuse and neglect to the point he was only 24 lbs at 3 years. The DFACS woman said: “he will never be a rocket scientist, but he will be able to support himself.” He grew into a loving, devoted young man that filled our hearts with gratitude. Some in our family, my mother especially, just saw him as ‘adopted’, but he came from our heart. And filled it. I was told on Mother’s Day that “of course, I wasn’t a real mother” by my own mother who never was. Shame, grief, sadness follow us in life. But love will endure, regardless the target. the haiku is lovely at the end of the beautiful haibun.

    Liked by 1 person

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