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Yesterday I dropped off my kid to driver’s training, and he hesitated before exiting the car.

“Mom.  I was published today. Here’s I bought this for you.”

He handed me his school’s literary journal and trod off through the snow to school after school.  My son is different from any other person on earth, and you will know that after speaking to him for more than 45 seconds.  When he told me he was submitting a poem to the literary journal at school, I had to admit, even I was surprised.  My kid is constantly surprising me.  I never knew what to expect for him, not because he’s uncomfortably unpredictable, because he isn’t.  I couldn’t picture what life for a teenager with Asperger Syndrome would look like.  He surprises me because he embraces his other-ness and wears it like a badge of honor.  He cares about people.  Connects with people, and has genuine friendships.  He is remarkable in a way I never imagined I could hope for him.

When I say I have teenagers, I am often met with a “knowing” look of shared despair, but I love having this guy in my life.  I love learning who he is, and I can: because he’s willing to share his transformation with me, and we are both better for it.

I asked Peter if I could post the entire poem because I think it’s good (and not just because my kid wrote it), he assented.

 

Semper Manere by Peter Andrews

 

In this corrupted, decrepit home

a chaotic mess expanded forth.

Spray-painted graffiti,

a myriad of photographs,

an old cuckoo clock,

half-eaten lozenges,

a nearly empty bottle of bubbles

thrown on the ground

drenching ancient magazines.

Coffee stains where a desk once was

speckling the floor,

a champion’s trophy, once glorious,

now worthless.

A once-deified idol, now broken and bent,

but the pictures looked happy, from what I could tell.

Pictures of jolly people eating pretzels covered in butter.

It looked like they were having a swell time.

There was a picture of a farmer milking a cow

while his children churned butter on the porch.

Who were these people?

What was their story?

Pictures of a sphinx fighting a Paladin,

of and old advertisement for aluminum foil,

of a Maine coon kitten, like my little Penelope.

I felt a tinge of sadness when I finally set it down.

A picture of a jungle,

where chimpanzees looked toward the camera.

Pictures of a high-voltage power pant and a little girl in a tutu.

A decrepit history book opened to a page

with images of a Pharaoh subjugating his enemies.

In this crypt

I stared with contemplation

at this heap of so-called trash;

trash filled with memories of a better time.

To the people who lived here

it was their sanctified treasure

of which I came to rob them.

So I showed them mercy and left in peace.

Semper manere; manere in memoria.

 

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Leave a Comment

  • Yvonne @ The Dahlia Scene January 17, 2014, 2:33 pm

    Oh that is a wonderful poem. I’m so glad he let you share it.

    Reply
  • Melissa January 22, 2014, 9:19 pm

    Wow! What an amazing piece of work. Keeps you involved until the very end. Love this line –

    To the people who lived here

    it was their sanctified treasure

    of which I came to rob them.

    So I showed them mercy and left in peace.

    Reply
  • Jill ||Made with Moxie February 4, 2014, 4:50 pm

    That just just so awesome.

    Reply
  • Kimberly Kling February 27, 2014, 10:16 am

    I’m so impressed! I hope I get to meet your son someday. He sounds like such an amazing person with a beautiful uniqueness. His poem is wonderful! Thanks for joining in the celebration Karen! xo

    Reply
  • Britney February 27, 2014, 2:13 pm

    thanks for sharing his beautiful work! i’m glad peter let it be shared.

    Reply

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