Do They Think I Don't know?
by Alanna Hassett
Dedicated to my friend with A.S.
“She can't help it; she doesn't know...”
I hear it every day.
What coveted thing do I not know?
I know that ignorance is bliss.
It is a safe place to hide.
A place where you may cherish your false beliefs.
It is ignorance that makes you say things you don’t know.
I know that tolerance is false.
Tolerance is another way of pointing out that I am different.
That I am not like you, and never will be.
It is an excuse to treat me intolerantly, while saying the opposite.
I know that your pity is pretend.
You don’t pity me; you’re thankful.
It wasn’t you who was made to be me
Or to live like I do.
It isn’t your child who is like me
And is treated the way I am.
I know that love is inexclusive.
I feel it, just like you do.
I may not express it the same as you
Or at all sometimes.
But I can love someone as well as you do.
I know that Autism isn't a curse.
Though Autism is not a gift, it has made me stronger.
It has made me see things that you don't and never will,
Say things that maybe others couldn't say
But not be ashamed,
And do things that you are frightened of doing.
I know, but do you?