A bucket of freshly picked wildflowers
rest at the mud room door
the hum of washing machine
eases almost into a state of permanence
he wet himself again
he can't change himself
his bed is on the first floor
because fear lurks on the second
demons patrol every staircase
he's created his own Alcatraz
to keep himself safe
we do a puzzle
we read the sports section of the daily local
"I like this guy"
the only words i hear this day
the washer is still running
we look out the window
i see a fall day so beautiful
nature could not interact with itself
he sees something else
something tragic and discordant
something evil that is always at his side
this ancient child
this hurt hermit
whose suffering remains unsung
saves me from despair
every time time i bask in the purity
that is his smile
and when the wildflowers are gone
and the washing machine stops running
a new meaning will be brought to
take this moment to be grateful for your completely intact mental facilities
For an hour and a half I sit on the floor
holding a piece of shaped cardboard.
I turn it round and round to show all side
while holding a paper plate of paints.
He holds the brush like he holds his pencils
He pays attention to the cartoon at his lap
and sporadically looks at the tip of the brush.
Colors are scattered with no rhyme and reasons
and brush strokes are seen without hesitation.
He paints and paints and saps his little energy
to make a Christmas present for his little sister.
The face and body of a million others
because of the 21st chromosome.
The movements and quirks of a million others
because of a little spectrum.
The testers and medication of a million others
because of a tiny chemical.
Down syndrome. Autism. Diabetes.
The most loving person I know.
— The End —