Friday, 7 February 2020

My Autistic Son's Rebirth

by Sandy Rochelle

As I look at my sweet son.
I would like to ingest him-swallow him whole.
Like a two headed prehistoric lizard mammal.
And let him be born new again.
Like the new skin on a lizard's back.
Head to come out of the tail and
Hands and feet out of the belly.
A pain free birth of smiles and hellos.
Of joy and excellence and verbal verbosity.
Yes, that the most.
That a bunch of non stop words are made.
No more uncomfortable silences.
Moments to be filled.
Or pregnant pauses.
No meditative emptiness.
But, articulation—erudite brilliance on every subject.
Talkative social chatter.
Pure eloquence.
No miscommunication—or gesturing.
No sign language confusion.
Brilliant verbosity to wash away the years of childhood obedience.
Childhood submission and childhood silences.
No low level position of Germanic endurance.
Of submission—of following orders without an echo.
Now the words fly as he commands others to follow.
To listen and pay attention.
Now they look and listen as he smiles.
Taking in their respect and admiration.
He responds to their questions with immediate answers.
No longer the maligned.
No longer the child—the led.
The words fly without thought.
From his eloquent mouth.
As I become one of his disciples.
As the host enters him.
As his vessel is filled with his new true self.
As he smiles and gestures to me.
I—his mother—follow.

* * * * *

Sandy Rochelle is an award winning  poet-actress and filmmaker. Many of Sandy's poems are influenced by her son, David, who is Autistic and deaf. Her publications include Visions International, Ekphrastic Review, Spillwords, Every Day Poems, Backchannel Journal, Amethyst Review, Formidable Woman, and others. She is the recipient of the Autism Society of America's Literary Achievement Award.


  1. Love him, nurture him, let his beauty find its way out. He is gifted.

  2. Wow... Sandy Rochelle! So powerful. Upon seeing/reading this poem a second time, almost as if from a new vantage point, I see again a strong strong poem!!

    The images at the end ..if I may be so bold.... bring up Jesus and Mary. Well done! Bravo!