My Boy Has Autism

This is a piece for my art degree, an expressionistic sketch I have made in my sketchbook.

My son has autism. He is 13 years old. He has difficulty relating to the world around him at times, suffers from anxiety and mild learning difficulties, but at the same time is very bright and articulate and has an amazing vocabulary. He feels trapped sometimes, by the autism. It can be little things, like his food averisons, or his sensitivity to sounds, or the unpredictable nature of our world. Sometimes he has huge meltdowns.

This toy, Iggle Piggle, was a gift from my late grandfather when Milo was a baby. My grandfather died three years later, followed by my son’s father a week later. This toy has a lot of sentimental value for me, as it takes me back to the love and support we had when my son was a baby.

This piece represents how my son feels as an autistic person, and how I feel as the mother of an autistic child. I think it speaks for itself.

copyright ©️2021 Sarah Drury

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

Medal of Honour

My grandfather, who was 92 when he died, 9 years ago, was a very brave man. One day, he was walking through the centre of Hull when he saw a gang of lads attacking a guy with learning disabilities. With no hesitation, he waded in, pinned the ringleader to the ground, the other lads ran off, and he got another member of the public to ring the police. He managed to hold the bully down until the police arrived.
For this he received a bravery award from Humberside police. I was SOOOO proud of him! Here’s a poem dedicated to him…

Medal of honour

All we have is a fading photograph
Proud old man
In tan leather shoes
Polished into mirrors
Of army reflections
Standing on principles
Of selfless bravery
Heels as sturdy roots
Sucking up the echoes
Of classless courage
From an Earth
Sodden with the blood
Of cowardice
of cruelty
of discrimination.

All we have is a photograph
Proud old man
In weathered wool coat
Threads laid bare by age
Your seventy-five years
Hold you not to turn a blind eye
To turn the other cheek
Once an army boxer
Punches never left you
But attack in defence
Working class fists
Infused with the legacy
Of world war hardship

Fist to floor
Floor the enemy
Enemy a prisoner
Prisoner of war
War crime
Crime for a cheap dime
Don’t mess with him
Non nonsense banker
Pennies for punches
Pounds for penitence.

All we have is a photograph
Proud old man
In memories now you’re gone
Proud to call you grandad
Proud

©2020 Sarah Drury