Child of War
by Mike Berger
The mortician closed his big brown eyes.
His skin was now pasty white. The forced
smile was wrong.
He was a child of the war; orphaned at an
early age. He spent his years in and
orphanage before he was adopted.
He struggled to make sense of our
western world. Try as they might
his adoptive parents could never
bond. Something was terribly wrong.
Scars from the orphanage were
chiseled deep into his mind. His
emotions were hidden until they
erupted; he became a seething
Doing very well in his schoolwork
wasn't enough. He had no friends.
Shy and withdrawn one moment and
explosive the next. So volatile, other
children feared him. He could be
incredibly cruel. He would scratch
and bite till he drew blood. His
tantrums became so severe he often
had to be restrained. The psychologist
that said these behaviors were survival
skills imprinted early in his life.
The mortician was kind to the family.
Dressing him in a dark suit with a white shirt
and tie. The white shirt and tie hid the
scarlet rope marks around his neck.
Ph.D. in Clinical and in Research psychology, Utah State University.
WORK HISTORY: Weber County Mental Health 1961 -- 1991. Senior therapist on the youth team. Specialized in attention deficit disorder in children.
PUBLISHING HISTORY: Author of two books of short stories. Three humor pieces have won awards. Writing poetry for less than a year. Work has or will appear in forty-five journals. These include AIM, Still Crazy, First Edition, Stray Branch, and Mid West Quarterly, Evergreen and Westward Quarterly. Published two chapbook, Raw and Lighten Up published by CC&D Press.
Member of The Academy of American Poets
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'No More Mary's Lamb'
'AS THE WORM TURNS'