Friday, April 2, 2010


I’m not really into poetry. It’s just never really been my thing. It is so subjective. But recently, there was a poetry contest at the community college. They were giving away free tuition to the winner. That got my attention. I decided maybe I was at least a little bit interesting in poetry. Enough to enter the contest anyway.

I didn’t win. And that’s okay with me. I’m sure the winner was someone who loves poetry. Or at least I hope that’s the case. But, seeing how it is World Autism Awareness Day, I wanted to share it with all of you.

Blue Screen

The experts call it autism
A mother calls it heartbreak
Like a computer processor overloaded with input
Neurotransmitters fail to respond
Too much sensory input, no escape—Crash.
My son has encountered an internal error and must shut down.

I see it coming, feel the pain
The anxiety, the frustration, the fear
Witness the torture
If only I could run a virus scan
Load a software patch, press CTRL-ALT-DEL…
My son, why MY son?

No band-aid, no antibiotic, no kiss to make it better
No geek squad to the rescue
I’m helpless; he is hurting
I want to scream at the top of my lungs
Leave my child alone!
Only there is no one to hear it.

On his own terms he’ll unplug, restart
Life goes on, until the next glitch
And I wonder
Will his body eventually upgrade itself?
Will he simply learn to channel the input?
Will he ever fully understand how deeply I love him?


Milah said...

I don't know much about poetry, but that was a great analogy. Kinda helps me understand it a little better. Good job.

melanie said...

He knows. It's hard-wired. Now WE know...

Michelle said...

Christine that was so beautiful and touching that it brought tears to my eyes. I really wish you'd won - for BOTH of you.

Angela said...

so touching. A mother's love is amazing.

Suzanne said...

So touching. I hope you don't mind, I shared it with my friend Christine who has an autistic son.

Whosyergurl said...

Christine, I love it. I write a little poetry, and like this, it is when something is close to my heart. This is something you know well and you expressed it beautifully.
hug you,

Renee said...

Great job Christine! Perfect analogy too.

crystalzerosix said...

nice poetry...i'd like to learn it too!!

Callie said...

Autism causes so much hurt. Thank you for sharing. Hope you have a great weekend.

Jayne said...

Your poem brought tears to my eyes. I don't know very much about autism but that poem helped me understand what it's like. Do you watch "Parenthood" and if so do you think the character of Max represents Asperger's accurately?

Nancy K. said...

You can no longer say that you don't write poetry. That was beautiful. Poignant. Heartfelt. It doesn't get much better than that.

I have a son with Cerebral Palsy. He can't walk or feed or dress himself. I know your pain. We want to make everything "OK" for them and we just cant. All we can do is fight for their rights and love them.

Hugs to you and your son...

Christine said...

Jayne, I've only caught the last half of the last episode so I can't say for sure. But if you ever watch Big Bang Theory, the Sheldon character pretty much nails it in an exaggerated way.

I need orange said...

No poem could be more heartfelt. The winner may have had more experience, but can't know more than you do about expressing what s/he encounters in life......

Parenting is no job for sissies, and that's the truth.

Anonymous said...

Wow Christine!! That was awesome. I see Sheldon in my Jacob all the time. We had such a rough day today (with the in-laws no less). You really stated it well. Best,

thecrazysheeplady said...