Last night I gave a reading of some of my poems at the Sudden Fame event in the Mitchell Library as part of the AyeWrite! festival in Glasgow, 2018.
It was a fascinating evening, listening to such talented poets and storytellers sharing their work with the audience.
I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when i was 51 and this poem is a reflective look back for me as a child.
Are you that someone?
What do I have to do to make them believe?
I am not playing up or trying to deceive.
All I want is for my voice to be heard
A confused little boy with only his word.
I’ve had pains and problems most of my life
Living in that house was just such a strife.
No one believed when I said I’m not fine
“Oh, just shut up boy and please toe the line.”
In our family they always would say
When we were together and I was at play.
They said, “Sit, down, shut up and be quiet, boy”
“Why don’t you just go and play with your toy.”
Imaging the pain and hurt that they caused
Year after year it was just reinforced.
With everyone around I was alone in the house
Trying to be as quiet as a mouse.
Now I know why I behaved as I did
And not just because I was the last little kid.
I have Asperger’s Syndrome and all it entails
The tears, the pain and sometimes the wails.
So next time you see a kid playing up
Don’t just assume he’s a bad little pup.
It may just be he’s not like the rest
And really trying not to be such a pest.
He may be different and need someone to care
For someone to listen and try to be there.
He has so much to give, so much to become
Go on, tell me, “Are you that someone?”
Thanks to Janet Crawford from the Federation of Writers Scotland for the photograph.