. Old Orphan They’re over on my dresser, simply framed And looking 1940s fresh and young. There’s something to them holy and unnamed, Some song inside them waiting to be sung. And I their youngest, young no more at all, On days I feel a bit the worse for wear, Before their photo humbly stand and call Upon them in a faint ancestral prayer. I pray that I might kindly be restored To that simplicity of love so dear That all our warmest moments once availed, Brought all our wayward ones into accord; And thus relieved be of the orphan fear That tenderness in life has somehow failed. . . Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Agape Review, America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.