Tag Archives: autism

Astro Was Too Difficult to Say


I searched for you
wanted to bring you home
and into our hearts
give my children something I never had
help them learn about dogged devotion,
joy, attachment
the responsibility that inevitably comes with love

I didn’t expect your moose-iness
or that you’d be part muppet, part Barry White
or that my son would want to die if you did
that he would create a whole religion based
off of your patience and unwavering fidelity
that when the world became far too overwhelming
the only chance he had to regain peace
was waiting in the fur of your neck
and the deep quiet of your dark eyes

NaPoWriMo Day 30


Wake and Embrace


(World Autism Awareness Day)

In the spin of your DNA
we handed off plenty
unintended delights and equally unintended glitches:
the soft blue of your eyes
and misaligned bite
bad cholesterol
paired with unbreakable bones
admirable height
along side an uncertain pancreas
prolific whiskers
and dark blond hair
a steady heartbeat
supporting shy veins

All this I see
and feel gratitude for every unremarkable and astounding attribute
shake my head and sigh
about those less than ideal items
that have floated along the gene pool
and may eventually bloom in your frame
as part of our heritage

All blameless and natural as breath:
a propensity for developing auto-immune disorders
the history of strokes, faltering hearts, and cancer as we age

All this I see
and may even apologize for unwittingly passing along some physical flaws
yet know with certainly I am powerless to control the DNA
good or bad
that molds your body

So why is it I feel so differently about your mind
and your mental health?

Why am I eviscerated with guilt
over the genetic code
that dictated the formation of your neural pathways?

It too was constructed from the same cluster of cells
that left your skin fair
and makes your smile dazzling

I had no more control over if you inherited
genes for addiction or OCD
or a brain built non-standard
than I did over the shape of your thumbs

Perhaps I’m plagued by doubt and guilt
because I’m told almost daily
that psychological differences or mental health issues
are a character weakness or parenting failure
something you choose to indulge
versus something as biological as diabetes
or neurological as Parkinson’s

We are judged
minute by minute
by those who have no idea
how horrifyingly impossible it is for you
to often hear the actual words that people speak
because those words and their intended meaning
are being drowned out or altered by the emotions you are feeling

Or by people who struggle to understand
why you are entirely incapable of concentrating
because the seam of your sock
is pushing into your toes
and the sensation is so overwhelming
that you can’t think of anything else

And that much of the time when you are in public
you are able to converse with ease
make eye contact
and act very like the people around you
so people assume that you should be able to do that all of the time
and if not all of the time
at least most of the time
and that if you don’t behave in a way perceived as rational
it must then be your free choice
instead of your body’s will

My perfectly imperfect, beautiful child
who is no less or no more than every other child and ancestor
who like us all carries both darkness and light
and just like everyone is challenged and gifted
may the world rise to meet and embrace you
offer you kindness even when you confound them
may everyone wake and become aware
that although you may not always be predictable
or conduct yourself in a way people may fully understand
that you have much to contribute
and are eager to find your place and acceptance
that your existence makes all our lives richer
you, as you were made, are worthy and wonderful
may you love and be loved
for the remarkable person you are


NaPoWriMo Day 2

Every Morning, Over Oatmeal or The Apt Homonym



you rise
spilling fire
full of bold promise
bluster and a beauty
that burns

warned never to look
too close
make eye contact
we’ve learned to defer to you
quake and fear
an eruption
the moment
when you break apart

take your light away

leaving us cold
with only memories
of your former warmth

yet I remain convinced
that something so dazzling
made from star dust
and longing
surely must endure


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo 1


a promise


all the broken things
fixtures pulled to wire
words inked into the soft
flesh of desktop
kitchen phone in pieces
cupboard door splintered

all these things
and more
but my love

the jam topped cookies
baked in a oven that still works
tasting of vanilla and hope
by a heart that still works

I won’t give up on you

December 2014
Julie Ayers

St. Croix


She remembers it was a Tuesday,
her labor.
Intially, she’d been pleased by that.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be on,
a possible distraction from contractions.
she was relieved it was just a rerun,
the rythmic clenching of every muscle
below her breasts
obstructing her ability
to focus on anything,
not even the breathing
they said would help.
The playlist she’d prepared for herself
stayed in its plastic sleeve.
Lollipops unwrapped,
ignored in her bag;
lip balm capped.
She didn’t want to be talked to
or touched,
no backrubs
or foot massages.

Between waves of pain
and the accompanying urge to vomit,
all she wanted was quiet,
to white out her brain,
remind herself
this, too, would pass.
Even the epidural,
which hid the pain,
did not stop the movement
of each drop of moisture
being squeezed upward from her stomach,
mouth to basin,
with every masked cramping.

Twelve hours in
and fully dialated,
she began to push:
an effort to dislodge the love
held captive within her.

through every “I hate you,”
every strike and landing,
she still feels this.
Love dislodged,
love embodied,
pain that closes her.

October 2014
Julie Ayers