A poetic depiction of the life of a special needs child, a child living with autism, for the Autism Special Edition I of ‘Learning and Creativity’.
Speak to me, you, the lanky vocalist, weaving gibberish
Inside the plush French café in town.
Speak to me, you, the flamenco guitarist
Feeding spoonfuls of music in his weary, urbane songs.
Speak to me, you, the lady in the store, holding that extra-comfy stroller
Housing your chubby, angelic child.
Speak to me, tell me how you would make that perfect homemade broth
For your perfectly nourished child,
Dreaming of a more perfect, untainted tomorrow.
Speak to me, you wrinkled cross guard,
Tossing the stop sign in the summer wind
In the boulevard where prim and proper school children tread, giggling,
Their hearts pounding in the blood and vigour of yet another glorious day.
Speak to me, you, the bus driver with the tooth filling and peeled-off skin,
The children swarming around him, their little skies breaking open
In a cloudburst of sing-song voices,
Trading my foreignness with their recycled normalcy.
Look at me, can you, unwrapping my voice, my unspoken words,
My different-abled brain and neurons, that swirl around
Your everyday words and cacophony like a fish out of water?
Look at me, can you? I am the shadowed face of your progeny
Whose happy orchestra had faded as you defined ‘normalcy’,
Sketched with the hues of your self-same syllables.
Look at me, my starry eyes, my tilted smile,
Look at the mumbo jumbo of my fingers
Weaving a tapestry beyond your barbed wire fence.
Unlock your door, and see me walking, unbuckled,
The autistic child at the other end of the spectrum.
I am the small, holy particle of the dust
That has now settled into your daily lives.
What else can I do, when my jittery breath smells
Of your cigarette, your faulty sperm,
Your pale living room walls?
Take me by the hand, for once,
Let us tiptoe across the dotted lines
Policed by human whims and ravaged dreams.
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