Lost and Found

That afternoon, a retarded boy wandered into the cloister.
I found him in the washroom. Short, awkward, incongruous,
he shuffled past the long line of urinals. I followed him
into the hall. I almost said Can I help you? like a salesman;
instead, Who are you looking for? He seemed to ignore or
not hear me at first, but when I touched him gently on the arm
he said, My father. He was unhurried, not upset that he was
lost, curious even. He gazed at me, looked down the hall,
then stared through the window to the autumn light,
the last few bees in the linden. No fear. As though the place
belonged to him. And it did; far more than to me or the other
scholars of the law who lived there, dozing over our
scriptures. We talked, walking slowly through the cloister.
I asked him questions, and some of his answers
astonished me. I steered him back to the porter’s desk
out front. When I opened the door, his parents looked up
eagerly, relieved, but not altogether surprised—that he’d
wandered off, or found his way safely back to them.

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
muhammad ajaz
10 years 7 months ago
I was moved by Brother's work. The depth is obvious and the material and story most moving. I would love to read some of Br. Isaac's other poems. Father Robert Bouchard (Diocese of Portland in Maine)

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla clash with military police in the Policarpo Paz Garcia neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Jan. 20, 2018. Following a disputed election marred by irregularities, incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez was declared the victor and will be inaugurated on Jan. 27. The opposition does not recognize Hernandez's victory and are protesting against the result. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)
“You will see many protests during his mandate...because Honduras hasn’t fixed its age-old problems of inequality, exclusion, poor educational and health system, corruption and impunity.”
Melissa VidaJanuary 23, 2018
I want to be able to serve the state better. I want to be able to serve more of the state.
Nathan SchneiderJanuary 23, 2018
Formed in 2011, The Oh Hellos' Christianity is one of their foundational inspirations, evident in lines like "the only God I should have loved."
Colleen DulleJanuary 23, 2018
People gather at a June 14 candlelight vigil in Manila, Philippines, in memory of the victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Philippine Catholic bishops called for vigilance against bullying, ostracism and harassment of gay people in the wake of the incident in which police said a lone gunman killed 49 people early June 12 at the club. (CNS photo/Mark R. Cristino, EPA)
“We are losing three generations of people, and we need to hear why,” said Bishop Mark O’Connell.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 23, 2018