I watch my son Graham in therapy
move his body.
The light of success in his face,
the sound of his laughter,
as new connections fire in his brain.
I watch myself lean
against the wall of the therapy room,
crouched, arms tight around my knees,
scared, hopeful, holding shame
and the secret judgments
of a life I sometimes feel went wrong.
I see my eyes in the reflection of the mirrored wall¾
they dance or drop
depending on Graham’s progress that day.
This feeling is familiar.
My eyes have risen and fallen
a thousand times as I watch my son.
I want to try a different path,
smoother, on a more neutral plane,
where I can step out
of the role of mother
and see a woman,
myself, standing tall,
walking in and out of the moments in her day.
She knows that nothing needs to be fixed.
Nothing needs to be different
than it is right now.
Jennie Linthorst is a therapeutic writing coach and the founder of LifeSPEAKS Poetry Therapy. She works privately with men and women helping them tell their stories and heal, through reading and writing poetry and personal essays. Jennie coaches clients all across the country and around the world via phone, Skype, e-mail, in addition to in person meetings. She is the author of a book of poems, Autism Disrupted: A Mother's Journey of Hope. Her family’s story is captured in the award-winning documentary film, “Autistic-Like: Graham’s Story”.