I wrote this piece in the late 1970s, and in 1980 it found its way into an adoption-related magazine via my brother Tim, who did some volunteer work for International Mission of Hope.
Not all of the crying children, however, are orphans, not all orphans live in orphanages, and many children of all ages (and also adults) fall victim to abuse, abandonment and human trafficking. They cannot be ignored without putting all of us in peril in many different ways.
Crying children whisper through my dreams,
their voices faint and dying
from hunger and from fading hope.
I hold my heart untouched
behind a wall of patient waiting.
A few more months, my heart,
a few months only and they’ll die,
their crying cease.
Then only ghosts of crying children
will disturb your sleep.
Originally published as “Ghosts of Crying Children” in the January/February 1980 issue of OURS (as of 1994, the Adoptive Families Magazine), “Crying Children” has since been performed and re-published in other venues).