You said
Just love her

Love is enough
You said

She was so frail
Legs that could not support
Even her small body
Dangling against mine.
She could no more hug
Than a rag doll.
How many times
Did I pull her knees up
And press them to my side
Before she learned
To hold on?

In the orphanage
There were no embraces

In the orphanage
There was no time
Outside the crib
For her legs to gain strength

You said
Just love her

Love is enough
You said

She was so hurt
Wanting so much
To fit in
To be popular
Always putting on a show
“Like me! Like me!”
It worked for a while
Until the other girls
Developed deeper friendships
Shared heart to heart
And left her on the stage
Of her own making

You said
Just love her

Love is enough
You said

So vulnerable
Playing the role
Of the grown up
She so wants to be
Seeking the embraces
The orphanage never gave her
(Even though we gave her all we could)
Seeking the freedom
Of life
Beyond the bars we have erected
To keep her safe

And so she leaves us
Still frail
Still hurt by all she cannot understand
So vulnerable to all those
Whose love
She thinks will be enough

No matter what you said
Our love is not enough
Even though we do
Just love her

Debra Rose Brillati
April 2018

10 thoughts on “Just Love Her

  1. One of the agonies of parenthood that continues even when they are grown is watching them hurt and being unable to make it better by your love alone. I have never found an easy answer for this, and it is very true that some children need much more than others along the way. Please know that you are loved, all of you.


  2. Love can do wonderful things. Perhaps not all we want but we can hope the love will help. Keep the poetry going- it’s wonderful


  3. Debra Rose, I have been reading and rereading this beautiful and heartbreaking poem. It so beautifully expresses what we feel as parents, even to those from our bodies. It is a universal fear and wish that we had done better. But, “Just Love Her” is all we can do and trust that our Maker will guard her. Thank you for this poem. Love, Linda L.


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