Three Poems by Erica Welter

These three poems by Erica Welter portray life as an Adoptee, a survivor risking ridicule and exile to defiantly join the chorus of denied Adoptee voices…

by: Erica Welter

Portrait of an Adoptee Upon Seeing a Family

You all look the same, eerily;
your mother’s eyes painted
in your skull. Your pieces 
were molded in mother nature’s 
bloody factory – ancestry’s ancient
conveyer belt. You’re hodgepodge
twins melted together like plastic 
doll parts, ends liquified and joined; 
living replicants of different generations.
DNA the epoxy, gluing parentage
together; fused skins and legs and hair
I find disturbing because you 
all look the same, 





An Adoptee Hoped

I never saw my native womb.
I was purged then taken away
before I could open my eyes.
Agents issued documents 
saying I’d been elsewhere.

    Still, I daydreamed,
    about her hands,
    about the shape of her face,
    about the way she held cups.
    I wondered if she was like me.

           I fantasized about being
           seated in a stark room alone,
           waiting for her to come to me,
           waiting as I’d been that Thursday in June.
                   In my fantasy the door opens.

                        I see her for the first time,
                                discover my reflection in her eyes,
                                        my place in this world.
                                               I understand I’m not unique.
                                                       I know the warmth of belonging.

I searched for her.
I emptied my pockets
and spent all my time.
When I found her,
the door was closed and locked.

She was already dead.
An Adoptee in a Texas Desert

I was born in a garden
but abandoned in a desert 
and I spent years staring at mirages
searching for reflections of myself.

I grew hungry and ate prickly pears,
but the pulp was slippery, so I sunk 
my teeth into it; the acrid juice burned.

I cried and the fruit sweetened.
The garden became the mirage,
and I saw an oasis on the horizon.
Every time I take a step forward

it moves backward an equal step.

Erica Welter is an Adoptee and an Adoptee rights advocate. She is a graduate student in English at Southeastern Louisiana University, where she serves as editor for The Pick, has work forthcoming from the Manchac Review, and has served as editorial assistant for Louisiana Literature.

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