Literary Journal – Spring 2017

Doug the Foster Child

By Susan Wagner


She arrives with three,

One a foster son, Doug.

He’s restless, he

Wanders, talks to his

Brother, to baby sister

To his almost mother.

Then, his therapist



His mother speaks to me

Softly before she leaves.

She has cancer.

The boy-child must live

Elsewhere now.

There are rules for this

That must be followed.


She weeps, her heart


They love Doug.

They wants to keep him

Home forever.

But he leaves in two days,

To his fifth foster home.

He will never return.


Susan Wagner, a former therapist, facilitated creative and poetry writing group therapies. She’s published poetry, short stories and feature articles for many years and taught both creative and business writing. Susan is currently finishing her second novel and is an editor with The Pearl S. Buck Writing Center.