THE WILD BOY OF AVEYRON

 

Silence

Was his fortress

Never

Ever

A word did he speak

Not handicapped

Mentally or physically

Simply dumb

By choice

I came across him by happenstance

In great hallowed silent halls

He greeted me in silence

Far away eyes

Had watched my approach

Had watched

As I paused to read the words

“The Wild Boy of Aveyron

Captured

While raiding gardens in a remote village”

Bare to the world

Covered from head to foot

In ragged scars

Wild eyes

Beholding his captors

In terror and distain

Wise men were called from afar

With wise eyes

Beards and pipes

They poked and prodded their captor

One after another

In some cases after years

Simply gave up and walked away

Haunted by his image and bearing

At times

Verbalizing their wonder

“I have never seen him so much as sneeze”

Even as he greeted the new snow

Naked

Frolicking

Delight shining in his eyes

For the whole honest world to see

As the wise men watched

Not straying far

He might escape!

Can he speak?

Has he lost the ability to learn our words?

Has this window passed him by?

Because surely

If he could speak with us he would

“No, no and no!”

Silence was his fortress

It held the wild gardens

The bright mornings

And the black starry nights

He has known since birth

Dropped, abandoned in the wild soon after entry to this world

To die, be consumed and forgotten

The memories he would not share

With anyone…ever

The memories

Of how he survived

The wild love he encountered

The desolate nurturing

Followed by fierce and violent encounters

That he also – against all odds

Survived

No

They have taken everything

His life

His freedom

His love

They will not take these

Held prisoner in a foreign land

Until the day

Like the wise men

He too

Simply gave up

And passed away in silence

He paused briefly on the edge of the forest

His image blurred through my tears

His hand raised briefly to the open sky

“Good bye”

And he was gone

Bare feet on sticks, leaves and earth

Breath-taking speed

His breathing

Loud in his own ears

A canopy of trees

Covering his flight

Wild cries

Announced his return

The Wild Boy of Aveyron

Finally

Has returned home