The following autism poem used to be up on this blog (in draft form). I had to take it down for a while because I entered it in a competition and the rules stated that entries could not be published online or in hard copy until the results were announced. Well, they’ve been announced now, and while this poem didn’t win, at least I get to put it back on the blog again.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways – Isaiah 55:8
The impossible blindfold
: an autistic adult prepares for a day in the workplace
Today again I’ll strap on my mask for you;
zip up my ludicrous human suit;
force most of my thoughts into small closed boxes
so that when I speak, you are not made uncomfortable.
When I am not trapped in a room full of chattering
sometimes I can pass for one of your kind.
You few who reach for me with well-meaning thoughts:
even you have no clue how hard this is, nor can you.
If you are sighted and want to try blindness,
bind your eyes for a day, a week – you might come close.
But there are no easy ways to shut down your empathy,
lock yourself in my clumsy robot cage
and be. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways.
(c) Melinda Smith 2011