This scribble was written in 2006, while my son was in full-time therapy. Diagnosed at age 2 in 2005, when he was not able to communicate or make eye contact, with autism, he had an astoundingly dedicated team of therapists for several years: occupational therapists, speech therapists, behavioralists, preschool teachers, volunteers from church who drove over to the house and worked with him one on one at a little table, patient friends and relatives. He is now 11 years old, in middle school, incredibly verbal, and has declared that he will become a wealthy entrepreneur, and will sit in the best boxes in the theater to watch operas and concerts when he grows up. Best of all, he is the favorite of one of our cats, and he is himself, for the most part, a sweet and gentle kitten.
My deepest gratitude is extended to anyone who has dedicated his or herself to the sometimes thankless task of working patiently with developmentally delayed children, step by step, sometimes measuring progress by the drop-full.
Thank you Lisa, Miss Stacy, Miss Tracy, Miss Cheryl, Miss Terri, Tanya, Joyce, Harold, Colleen, Lynn, Maria, to my mother, to golden godmothers, to everyone I am neglecting to name, my son is a walking testament to your efforts.
The pitter-patter of repetition
Erodes his smiling, stony facade.
Mt. Rushmore no more,
He no longer shrieks
Like the lonely loon at the lake.
From fragments of moments
Minute upon minute
Gathering the crumbs of his attention,
We have created a verbal mosaic.
My changeling child is
He stretches his cygnet wings
On the breath of many voices.
When he sees his swan reflection--
It will be in a moving mural
Marked by many hands.
A dreamless sleep falls from the shimmering leaves. --Sappho fragment, tr. Andrew Bellon I changed, thickened, ...
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