As you may know, I’m keeping my posts shorter than normal this month, as I have a bunch of writing and submitting I’m trying to work on, as well as preparing for the upcoming New England SCBWI Conference at the end of the month.
So today, I simply wanted to share a poem written by the daughter of a friend of mine, who is under the autism spectrum.
When my friend and I first met, her daughter, Sara – who rarely spoke to anyone she didn’t know well – opened up quite a bit to me, as we traded cartoon quotes from Spongebob Squarepants and Catscratch (one of my favorites!). It’s amusing to recognize that a yellow sea sponge and three idiot feline brothers were able to start breaking down a wall.
Sara was very young at the time, not even in kindergarten, and her mother worried how school would affect Sara – and what effect Sara would have on the school.
Over the years, there has been joy, pain, elation, sadness, frustration, inspiration, and a million other things the two of them have dealt with. One day my friend would be arguing with school officials over how her daughter was being treated; the next, Sara would be amazing the family with miniature, intricately-detailed sculptures. Every day, every week, was a challenge and a revelation.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend shared the following poem, written by Sara, now 15:
They hide in everyone everyday.
They embarrass you if they stop hiding.
Mine are always out
They make you collapse
Tremble in your own failure
Nothing can make you better
People question you
What is wrong with you? Get back together
It is easy, they say
But I have tried for years
We want to help, they say
But they want me to shut up
Stop the tears, they say
We have our moments, they say
Well I always have my moment
And it never stops
The only time it stops is when I sleep
Then sleep, they say
If they want me to stay silent,
Then I will go to sleep
Night and day I shall sleep.
– by Sara
When I read it, I asked my friend if she would mind me sharing it, to help provide a glimpse inside the mind of an incredible, blossoming young woman who happens to be under the spectrum. I encourage you to share this post, not for my sake, but for Sara’s and her mom’s.
Don’t forget: Irene Latham’s 2016 Progressive Poem continues today as Michelle H. Barnes adds her contribution, so be sure to stop by Michelle’s place and see how it’s coming along. (This Friday will be Yours Truly’s turn to add a line!)