Alone in Autism

by Jennifer Jenkins
(Ontario, Canada)

It could be said that your little neurons

are short circuiting, that your chromosome
anomaly may not be related.
And you just might be the most perfectly
beautiful person on the planet,
but your conception to say the least,
was not immaculate.

Your wires don't connect,
the earth's sounds, too profound;
sudden changes make you sick
and the anxiety you eject
is mistaken for just a tantruming brat.

DAN! Doc says you're full of poison,
that mercury migrates
from your toes to your hair
and you need a seven-year flushing.
But chelation is pricey
and I still don't understand all your fussing.

I'd want to go back;
steal the vaccines, contaminated
and your poor black eyes that glaciated.
I would try just to see if you'd be different.

I'd shut the world down for you boy,
bind and gag the clones
of Charlie Brown's teacher,
suffocate the horns and sirens,
and the distracting roar of monstrous appliances.

I'd paint the sky with coal
if the lights were too bright
and give you a hundred flashlights
if you get scared.

I'd feed you chicken and fries,
chicken and fries, chicken a-n-d fries,
for the rest of your life
while you sing it over and over
to the tune of "Jingle Bells."

If I could,
I'd change my name to Mother Nature
and keep your favourite season
for all your days.

No more flip flops one day, boots the next --
here's a sweater, and some long, long socks.
No... I think you should wear shorts, or wait...
you can't ride your bike today, it's raining!

Isn't it just when you figure it out,
that it changes again?

I'd painlessly pull out your teeth
so you wouldn't have to endure
the spicy taste of paste
or the distressing shocks of a toothbrush.

I'd give you "bald is beautiful" medicine
so you'd never have to scream
at the hands of a hairdresser again
when the razor blades prickle your neck.

I'd rid the earth of all the bees
and mosquitos that stalk you
so you'll never have to lock yourself inside,
so you'd never have to cry.

You'd never be set apart in school or
have to look another teacher in the eye,
or be threatened that you'll be late for recess
if you don't hurry up and do your printing!

I'll come with you to see
the icy rings of Saturn
and you'll see just how small is Pluto,
and that ship you talk about
that would keep you warm there,
you will build it.

I just wish I could let you sit
in the basement all day with legos
without feeling like you're missing out
on more important things...

Friends?
No.

There is no Rainman; there is you --
a boy in a world that is strange,
sitting on a spectrum
of your own personal genius.

You introduced me to this world,
I don't understand it and I am afraid.
I am alone with you, my son
but I will never let go.

I hate Autism.
But I love you.

For Damian.
Nov. 2006

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