To the Kind, Mute Bloke

Dedicated to the kind, mute bloke who gave my son half his chocolate stash in the local corner shop.

I’d noticed you
Shining at the counter
Trying to appear as dull
As we were unpolished
It wasn’t the way
You couldn’t speak
With muted lips
But the way
You conversed
In synonyms
Of special

Sometimes words
Fall meaningless
Like sunshades
In the Arctic
And you didn’t need
Fancy metaphors
Weaved into
Articulate Soliloquies
To be heard

I didn’t want to
Be unkind
I had my own
Business to mind
As I loitered
Inconspicuously queuing
Maybe curiosity
Would be my undoing
Not knowing if
This immaculate being
Was deaf, dumb
Or blind

You didn’t say your name
Was kindness
There were no
Regal fanfares
No stench of ostentation
Love doesn’t need
Grand gestures
Vocal cries of salutation
When half your treats
You gifted
To my son
One tender moment
When love was the victor
And wars against
Humanity
Were won

And don’t you know
You lifted
My soul out of
The gutter
That day
I didn’t think
I’d ever meet
One whose words
Were cloaked in
Secrecy
Sheer volume is
No compensation for
Human decency

And my son said
It was wrong
Taking gifts from
A stranger
But I said
When I am there
You are protected
From danger
I hold my son’s heart
Like Jesus
In a manger
And we knew
We were
Looking
At an
Angel

©2020 Sarah Drury

Too Big for Hugs

TOO BIG FOR HUGS

You’re too big for hugs
Now
Too big for hugs
Now you’re 5ft tall
Catching me up
I’m pretty sure
You could
Pin me up against
The wall
As you
Meltdown

This morning
Leaning into me
And those sweet words
“Hug, mum,”
In your sleepyhead
Voice
And your
Dreamland eyed
Glaze
Smelling of
Tween
Head of clean curls
This is a miracle
You’re usually
Not playing
Keen

Where did my baby
Go
Where are those
Hazy days of
Snuggling at
The breast
And toddler dinner
Mess
Wobbly
First steps
Potty poop victories
First time you said
Mamma
Sobby
First days
At school
But
You’re too big
For hugs now
I Guess
They’re just
Not cool

© 2020 Sarah Drury

Vivaldi

Ode to that bloody awful music you get when you ring the DWP! And the way they compartmentalise our disabled kids!

Vivaldi
Your timeless beauty sounds so ugly
In its incessant, perpetual monotony
On the end of this goddamn phone
Streamed into had-enough ears
As I wait
As I wait
As I wait
My last thread of patience almost gone
My son a statistic
As you sit in your ivory tower offices
Ticking criteria boxes
Playing God but Godless
Not giving a flying fuck
That my kid is a human being
Not some faceless scrounger
Not some work shy loser
Not some benefit fraudster
Just a child.

Vivaldi
Never had perfection
Sounded so brash, so annoying
Like salt rubbed into raw, bleeding wounds
Waiting for a ‘how can I help you?’
Waiting for the punchline to the joke
The pretence
The ‘we care’ rhetoric
But in their defence
They deal with pounds and pence
Not hearts.

Vivaldi
Whilst my child can walk, can talk
What the fuck do you know?
He eats, he sleeps, his mind is set on go slow
He has a learning disability
He tries, his mind denies him
Of a ‘normal’ life
His condition a serrated knife
With jagged aspirations.
But he can walk, he can talk
He eats, he sleeps
That is all you need
You do not see him
Yet your protocol has agreed
To reduce his benefits.
Like some germinated seed
Who is yanked from the ground
And tossed into the gutter
To save a pound
While the voice of my spirit resounds
In futile, hostile whispers.

Vivaldi
I hope one day you know what it is like
To have a child with a disability
To raise a soul with a differing ability
So that you develop empathy
Where there was apathy
So that sympathy spreads its comforting palms
Around torn, worn parents
So that understanding spews from mouths
Of those invested in the system
So that disabled kids are not pawns
In austerity
So that politics are not a mitigating factor
In this cancer we call an equal, enabling society.

©2020 Sarah Drury

I Am Not a Meme

I am a mother
An Autism mother
I browse the forays of Facebook
Forgetting the lakes of purples and blues
Decorating my limbs in myriad hues
Pools of rage and emotional instability
Because my Autistic son has the demonic ability
To inflict hurt.

I cringe at the memes. Why am I not more like them?

‘God found some of the strongest women
And made them Autism mums’

Well God must’ve been having a fucking joke
For who wants the slightest fleck of instability
To turn into a tempestuous liability
Who wants the fighting and screaming and cursing
Blue tinged words and searing guilt immersing
Who wants the depression looming
The stress, the headaches booming
God must have misjudged my capabilities
For I’m tearing my fucking hair out with my inability
To be strong for God.

‘Autism doesn’t come with a manual,
It comes with a parent who never gives up’

And I sit here praying for a miraculous amnesty
Nursing my wounds and lamenting my agony
I wish I had that fucking Autism bible
I wish that Shakespeare had written plays about mothers like me, unstable
Spinning round on an infernal neurosis turntable
Mothers who just don’t feel in control, don’t feel able
Who give up every single day
Give up every single fuck
When every second is grey
When the depression comes out to play.

‘If you think my hands are full
You should see my heart’

And my hands juggle some perpetual pandemonium
And I sing these insane songs like a psychotic harmonium
Shit in one heavy hand and giggles in the other
Feeling like an abject, joyless excuse of a mother
And my heart is close to breaking, so close to tears
Patched together by remnants of hope interjected with paranoid fears
If you could really see my heart, you’d see a twisted thorn
All those times I’ve lost my patience and after I’ve sworn
To be a better mum
To be a better mum

For this is an Autism house and I am the mother
And I’m not a fucking meme
I’m a human, another

Soul drowning

In Autism memes.

©2020 Sarah Drury