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Shy and withdrawn one moment and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.

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Writers Bio


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


Inspirational ImageLoading the sheep by Cath  Bartonby Cath Barton

Pieces Inspired by this Image

'No More Mary's Lamb'
by Aubrey Graze Pareja

by Harmony Hodges

by Steven Gulvezan

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