Hello ! My name is Melinda Smith, and I am mother to two boys, aged seven and four. My seven year old has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am also a poet. Read more here
This is the fifth in a series of seven autism poems I will be sharing with you as a guest poster on the Scottish Autism blog.
This poem is in the voice of an adult with ASD, and explores his / her ambivalent feelings about working with a bunch of neurotypicals.
It was inspired by the writings of Edgar Schneider (Discovering my Autism) and Temple Grandin (Thinking in Pictures).
The quote from the Bible used at the beginning is one that Schneider returns to again and again in his book. If you look carefully, you’ll see I have hidden one word from the quote in each line of the poem.
(I should also acknowledge that this poem was written with the support of artsACT)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways
– Isaiah 55:8
– 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 radar,
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