Such A Little Word

I know he can hear me
I see it in his eyes
I feel the depth of his frustrations
With every tear he cries
I know he’s trying to rail,
Trying to scream, trying to shout
But try as he might, true words
That we all know, just can’t come out
A four-year-old mind trapped
In a fourteen year old frame
Each day holds very little difference
But they’re never quite just the same
Searching for the rare moments
Of complete cognizance
For that miracle of his smile
His soundless laugh with a little dance
Autism is such a little word
For the mighty struggle that goes on within
That my six year colloquially describes as
“Missing a part of what ought to be in him”
For a childish blanket statement
It sort of holds pat
But even at her young age she realizes
It’s a lot more than that
As cruel as only kids can be
They take stabs at her young soul
When teased about her big brother
Who has about as much control
On how some days he’s happy active
Willing to play, pretending to help sweep
Versus the several days at a time
When he’ll do little more than sleep
And I don’t know what is harder on us all
The bad days when he withdraws from all we meet
Or the really good days when we can spend hours
Without a sudden episode in the middle of the street
Those times give a false sense of hope
A hint of the child that he could have been
We endure instead, the echoes of silence
He’s forever trapped within


Today at dVerse Victoria challenges us to write a poem in the first person. An extra challenge to write from a perspective not your own. My muse takes me to the heart of a parent of a challenged child.


dVerse Poets Pub | Meeting the Bar: Me, Myself and I

29 thoughts on “Such A Little Word

  1. I really feel for those parents of children with disabilities. It’s doubly sad when your other children get teased about them. You did a very sensitive and caring “first person”, Raivenne.

  2. Oh, this is so very heartbreaking and the daily bread of so many. I didn’t have much occasion to work with autism in my nursing career, but a lot with dementia. There is such a parallel–but when it affects little ones, it hurts so much.

  3. I so feel for the persona within the poem, any parent with a child with a disability knows of those days where hope is in fact a false hope but we as parents persevere in our love and support for our children no matter what.

    • You’d think so, but regretfully not all are. The look of disdain I’ve seen some people give a parent of a child who is going through an episode is so heartbreaking sometimes. Thanks for commenting,

  4. So touching, so true. My cousin’s son is autistic and now 20. Incredibly, he has become employed in an archive library – the solitude and his memory makes him a valuable employee and such a vital and reliable link to those who come to him for obscure publications and what would serve them best. I hope the young boy in this poem comes across more sympathetic and encouraging people in his life – we all have gifts and need to be appreciated for who we really are.

    • That’s wonderful kanzensakura. There are so many levels in autism. It’s great that people are learning how to live and work with those who can function well in society if given a chance. Thanks.

  5. This is heartbreaking to read — and to know this is the world of the autistic, the families who love and care for the autistic child. They are a mystery within….

  6. sMiLes.. my friend.. diagnosed
    with Autism am i.. too..
    escaping back
    iN the
    am i
    now too..
    before back
    to 3 before i
    could speak at
    4.. way later
    at 47.. and
    at 53..
    as sure
    happen too..
    yes still.. understand
    me.. i still.. understand
    others.. more than ever now..
    and do i look like i’m autistic
    whatever the hell that
    means.. sure then..
    but i can
    to anyone now..:)

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