Poems about autism

Your Place

Joe at his flat

Last year, I wrote a poem (a pantoum) called 'This Place' about visiting my son in the adolescent psychiatric unit where he spent four months (read it here).

He now has his own flat, living independently with support. So I decided to write a follow-up poem of the same length in the same style, hoping that this will illustrate the wonderful progression.

This Place

I come to see you in this place
A train, a bus, a longish walk
A mask of growth veneers your face
We picnic, catch up, laugh and talk

A train, a bus, a longish walk
They brought you here to make you well
We picnic, catch up, laugh and talk
You've questions, jokes and tales to tell

Why can't you just be normal?

Autistic screeching

Why do you like that tuneless music?
Wear your hair the way you choose it?
I think you get it it, then you lose it
Why can’t you just be normal?

Can’t you make yourself conform?
Do anything that’s near the norm?
Don’t you know there’s a uniform?
Why can’t you just be normal?

Narrative Verdict

I rise to call my first dead witness
Counsel may contest his fitness
for his part to testify
to tell you how he came to die
He leads a host of souls to tell
their stories from a bitter well
of negligence and ignorance
of culpable indifference
An inquest has been held for each
but now this hearing must impeach
the system which we'll hear has let them

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