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Three Poems on Napalm and Novocain


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Ten Years After Autism Diagnosis

This morning I was on my knees on the kitchen floor and I was not cleaning. I was begging for divine intervention. Ten years since the autism diagnosis. Ten. Years. A full fucking decade. I have aged threefold. I am baffled and broken but no closer to an answer than I was when we started this journey. I believe I believe I believe, I repeated over and over as if faith could function like magic. If I just prayed hard enough a fairy godmother would appear to grant my wish. Heal my son. Or give me his pain. Hurt me for my own mistakes, but he has suffered enough. In truth, I could just as easily have meant Ihave suffered enough. Either way, my prayers soon turned into an angry soliloquy, a version of the rant I I have said more than once before. Leave him alone now, you son of a bitch. What kind of monster would hurt an innocent child for things his mother has done? I have done all that you asked. I have tried every potential solution you have given me. Every medicine. A speci…

Cake Pop Conspiracy

Is it wrong to want to shove a Starbucks cake pop down a child’s throat? I admit that the problem is me and not the rest of the world. I know it is not normal to have thoughts like this, let alone to envision the act of violence in detail as I try to sip my almond milk latte and get some writing done. I should have prefaced this by saying that as my own child, who has autism and is too rapidly approaching teenagerhood, gets older, I become less and less tolerant of “normal” children. They (and their parents) have many less than endearing qualities, especially the iKids of today, constantly plugged into some electronic device or other. As they scroll through their parents’ phones laughing, one of the parents will look over at me watching from my seat in the corner. Obviously not recognizing my scorn, the parent will make eye contact and flash that specific proud parent smile that silently says, ‘isn’t she smart?’ I always get the feeling I am supposed to be impressed with their tech sa…

Sometimes Holland Sucks

When I first read the famous essay “Welcome to Holland” by Emily Perl Kingsley, I was touched. The overall premise, for those unfamiliar, is that having a child with a disability is like having planned a dream vacation to Italy, only to find out that the plane has landed in Holland. Not only are you in the wrong country, but everyone you know has been to Italy and talks about it all the time. What’s worse is that you will never go to Italy. Though the text itself is a bit unclear here, I think Kingsley means that you will remain in Holland forever. She could just as easily mean for the duration of the vacation, but either way, you are in Holland. Kingsley writes: for the rest of your life, you will say ‘Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned.’…And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you…