A Well-Worn Face

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    The Commonwealth Forced Adoption Apology
    Reaches out to mothers …. such as me
    Including fathers and adoptees
    Then of course all the families
    Those who lost a child had nothing to gain
    All we have is never-ending pain
    An Apology it is hoped will heal
    Yet it is a child they did steal
    The end never justifies the means
    As is echoed by mothers screams
    We carried our child and formed a bond
    Then were told our child did not belong
    To one such as I – a single Mum
    What on earth had I done?
    To have my child taken away
    Ignorant in every way
    Denied any right to have my say
    My son has no rightful heritage
    They have taken his identity
    From Churches, Hospitals and Charity Organisations
    Governments & Communities gave no dispensation
    Parents of two, were to raise my child
    Is how those involved, justified
    Separation between mother and son
    Is how their lives had begun
    Taking my child didn’t make it right
    I’ve mourned my child, day and night
    I have my special mementos
    A pair of socks to cover tiny toes
    But now, as everyone knows
    After 47 years the pain shoots
    He wears ……………. work boots
    There are those who still consider it a disgrace
    Setting us apart from the Human Race
    I turn and walk away, as tears fall down,
    over a well-worn face.


    This poem was written for the National Apology in Canberra on March 21, 2013, to go into the National Archives of Australia. The image of the booties is a lasting memento of my son for the Memorial Garden at Parliament House in Canberra.