Friday, May 20, 2016

Our Door

Our door
Has a closer
So that it closes
By itself gently

My son
He likes
Closing doors
Any left open he runs to it
And shuts it hard it bangs
Loud!
My ears hurt
His don't

Our door
Has a closer
You have to push hard
Against the spring
My son
He barges in
Without a second glance
No matter who is behind
The spring inside
The closer does its job
Gently it shuts
My ears don't ring as much
anymore.

One day my son
turned the knob
Pushed the door open
and held it
Then glanced at me
It was as if I heard him say,
"Come, Mama, I'll wait for you. Come in."

Our door
Has a closer
So that it closes
By itself gently
One day my son
held it for me
My ears don't hurt anymore.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Living and Breathing Poetry

"Garret, do you want bread?"
"Wuh-er." (Water)

"What color would  you like  to use this time?"
"Yeyow." (Yellow)

"Bwed," (Bread) he asks of me.
"You ask Ate (Caregiver) to toast bread."
"Ah-teh, bwed."

Many years ago, he wouldn't even look at me in the eye for more than a second.  Verbal language was absent. But now. Now is different. Now is better. Now is so far from where we began. Now he speaks to me. He responds to me. He tells me what he wants albeit, singly.  One amazing-sounding word at a time.  

I think about how I love and write poetry. I wish someday my boys could understand it, could come to love the intricacy and magnificence of language both in its written and spoken form.

The irony of my life does not escape me. It in fact poses greater questions that I ask myself everyday:

As a mother, am I willing to let go of the kind of language I love so much and embrace another form of language, one that goes beyond any written or spoken form, one that is in its purest, most elemental form?  And how will I speak to my boys in a way that they will truly understand?

As a mentor, teacher and in other roles in my life, the questions stand. And the answer remains unchanged everyday even in the most trying ones--

Yes, with all my heart. I will let go, embrace and speak  the language devoid of any unnecessary abstraction, metaphors, and flowery words. I will nourish them with the language that is simple, clear and direct to the point.

Over the years I find gifts of insight-- Elegance  in simplicity. Poetry in clarity. Beauty in a place where the intended meaning of the speaker and the understanding of those who hear the message come together effortlessly.

In the years to come, if my heart is wide enough and willing to expand some more, more insights abound waiting to be discovered just like the words that my dear Garret slowly and wonderfully unearths. Just like the pieces of understanding my feisty Morgan unravels.  One amazing miracle at a time.  Perhaps the most precious treasure I will find is that I will realize,  if I haven't already, that my boys are living and breathing poetry all by themselves and that my wish has already been granted long before I expected it to come true.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Attraversiamo

This wall
This gap,
This space
A tremendous river
Between us and them
Between our world and
Their secret place

We try to pull them into ours
Make them stay
Within the lines
Color inside the shapes
Circle, heart, square

Trace
The dots from here
To there

And they try, they really do
Feet together
Sit up straight
Quiet hands
Then hold the pen like this
Tripod grip
So write they do
Color they do
On paper as they should
Even though they prefer
Tables, walls or floors

This space

Between us and them
Between our world and
Their exquisitely secret place

Where silence lives
Too much of it
For our world at least

What will it take for us to know
This void
is part of who they are?
Who we are, who are we?
We are too full of noise
We are too full of markings
And
We are too afraid of nothing
Of

Blanks, of spaces, of gaps

The very same
that make our words richer, fuller

The very same
that make our world richer, fuller, more diverse
Beautiful

If we just look over
There is a bridge between
Their world and ours
Let's cross over
And fill in the blanks
Write love, tremendous love
On paper, tables, walls or floors
Occupy the space, embrace
Who they are, who we are

Autism,

This wall
Let's climb it. Or knock it down.
They are us
We are them
Let's close the gap.