Feral child.
A psychiatrist’s description
Of our daughter in full meltdown.

How can so much rage
Reside inside this petite and delicate form,
Behind the grey-green eyes
So prone to sparkle
Until the demons within extinguish them?

Starting life
Lost, alone, without family or love or support,
An innocent little orphan gone wild.

Our feral child.

How do we reach inside to touch
The lost child
So she knows she is not alone
And never will be?

Why can love not cure
What lack of love has caused?
Are we just impatient?
Or have the long days of care-giving
That never seem to be enough
Fed our own demons,
Leavings us exhausted
from the struggle to wrestle hope
From their clawing grasp?

As her raging subsides,
She seeks my body now.
While at first there was no comfort in my touch,
She has come to endure a prolonged embrace.
Maybe, just maybe,
In these moments
She does truly know that she is not alone,
That she is loved,
That we are not going anywhere.
Just maybe.

I want to strap her lanky seven-year-old body to mine
And carry her through life.
But no,
As much as her heart needs anchor in my love
Her spirit needs to soar.

I pray that each embrace will work some small magic
To quell the dark feral child inside
And bring peace to my bright light
With the sparkling eyes.
Because one day,
She will light up the whole world.

Debra Rose Brillati
March 2004

4 thoughts on “Feral Child

  1. Here before us is a parent’s unmistakable anguish and longing – sustained by this deep, faithful and remarkable love. Bless you, Debra!

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  2. And it has and you did by the grace of god that amplified that love and trust and touch. Praise god and all of you for persisting beyond. Love you all Jane

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  3. My observation is that she is now doing things that do indeed light up the world around her. She has come a long way with your love.

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