Friday, June 29, 2012


Settled into a lounge chair
around a Palm Springs pool,
I sip a mid-day Corona Light,
and strike up a conversation
with another spring break family
while my eight-year-old son
completes his umpteenth lap
up the water slide
with new friends,
crashing into the pool,
only appearing at my side
for food or a towel.

I shift in my seat,
daze away from
this easy banter,
inwardly stunned
at the normalcy.

Oh, it’s shockingly different,
there is no talk
of my son’s special needs,
no drawn out drama with strangers,
telling our story of not quite autism,
nodding, oh yes, he has come so far.
There are none of the usual comments
of how they know so and so,
and have we tried this therapy?

My story was like a dear friend
who held my hand
in every new situation,
ready to explain away
my anxiety of a special boy
who might not yet look
quite up to speed.

Suddenly that part of me
has disappeared
behind a gloriously normal day
where my son beams with freedom.

That woman with her story
has packed up her facts, her fear.
She has cared for, cleaned up
years of heartache
and set me down
on this pool chair,
left alone,
to read in peace.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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”.

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