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.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
muhammad ajaz
10 years 3 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)

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

The Vatican has accused its first-ever auditor general of “going beyond his powers in hiring an external firm to carry out investigations on the private lives of exponents of the Holy See.” The announcement comes after the auditor-general, Libero Milone, who resigned last June, broke his silence

Gerard O'ConnellSeptember 24, 2017
A group of lay theologians and clergy opposed “Amoris Laetitia” have released a letter “correcting” Pope Francis, part of an ongoing effort directed against the pope’s focus on pastoral outreach to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.
America StaffSeptember 23, 2017

The martyrdom of Blessed Stanley Francis Rother "fills us with sadness but also gives us joy to see the kindness, generosity and courage of a great man of faith," Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, said Sept. 23 in Oklahoma City.

Catholic News ServiceSeptember 23, 2017
Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, the archbishop of Dhaka, has described the recent attack on the Rohingya community in Myanmar, as “a crime against humanity.”
Gerard O'ConnellSeptember 23, 2017