He Ain't Heavy

I was adopted and can remember it too,
I was three & my brother was two,
The horror of being taken away from our mom.
We left her sobbing. I tried to be calm.
Taken to a house of cribs and strange boys.
My brother and I didn't make any noise.
I kept on asking when mommy would come.
I couldn't accept it. I became numb.
Back then, my brother was all that I had.
I'd guard his crib as if I were his dad.
Above my bed was a little square hatch.
The big boys said above it was a latch.
Bogey Man would come down to fetch.
In nightmares, me, he would always catch.
All night, I'd watch that hatch and my brother.
After some days, I couldn't watch further.
One morning, I found my brother was gone.
The home decided to orphan me alone.
Better to split us up for speedy adoption,
But for me, this wasn't an option.
Without my brother, I was as good as dead.
My body shut down, my strength all but fled.
At three, I was dying, the dark gate I neared.
They brought him back, for my health they feared.
60 years have passed from that time.
My brother and I haven't always rhymed.
Fight like a couple of bears, bruised and bloody,
But he'll always be
my number one buddy.


◄ Had Another One of Those

Hodgkinson's Uncommon Sense Maxims ►


Profile image

Brian Hodgkinson

Mon 1st Mar 2021 17:59

Keith, thank you for your thoughtful comment. Fortunately, I was adopted together with my brother by a Canadian couple who had applied for American citizenship and succeeded. They were loving parents who did a good job. I don't blame my first parents for their choices because their was a much bigger scheme. Of course, I couldn't see that at the time.

I will include you and your siblings in my thought and prayers.

Profile image

keith jeffries

Mon 1st Mar 2021 10:32

A powerful poem of deep personal tragedy. I too suffered a miserable childhood for reasons other than the ones you describe. I often wonder if parents ever realise the damage that can be inflicted on a child during their formative years, damage which can last for a lifetime. I ran away in the end leaving a younger brother and sister to continue and live in a hell hole. My brother who is younger than I by five years is still traumatised by those awful years.

Thank you for this poem. From reading many of your poems you have developed into a writer who is highly observant and sensitive, one who can well describe life as it is and affects us all. Well done Brian


Profile image


Mon 1st Mar 2021 08:44

What an horrendous childhood experience for you to undergo, but great you have at least one family member that you are very close to.

Words sometimes are not enough to assuage these problems but you at least got it out there in the open.

You are not alone in the battle of childhood grief as I am sure many on WOL will agree.



If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message