pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Tag: non-verbal

ON EDGE

Photo by Singkham on Pexels.com
A young mom stands.
The four-year-old boy at her feet
sits in his unseen labels:
Autistic.
Nonverbal.
Sensory-impaired.
She holds one end of a leash.
The other is attached to a cute backpack
he wears, as he fidgets in a small spot of dirt
in an otherwise flawless lawn of the public library that is, 
today, being used as a venue for celebrating diversity.  

The morning is perfection.  
People of different cultures and languages together,
sharing their talents and being offered a public voice.
This mom does not move from her spot
for hours.
The darling boy pays no attention to the speakers
the music
the dancers
other children.
His focus is only on his patch of dirt.
He sits in it.  Lays in it.  Plays in it 
with his hands and feet.
Feels it with his cheeks.
He pulls a bit of the grass around it,
increasing his speck of space.
A woman with a long dress gets close.
He reaches out to touch the fabric.  It is the only thing
I see him pay attention to, besides the small patch
that grounds him.  
His momma tells him
don’t touch the dress.  

When I am leaving, I approach her. 
She stiffens. 
I smile.
“A sort of sandbox, I see,” I say.  
She tells me nothing soothes him quite like
a patch of cool dirt. 
She tells me his labels.  
I place my hand on her shoulder briefly,
and assure her she is a strong, good momma.
She says the only other woman
to approach her this day sternly told her, 
“I pay taxes for this grass.”

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

UNSPOKEN

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PHOTO BY KEITH R. GOOD

She fights to connect.
Even her thoughts are wordless,
she says.  And I nod

as if I can grasp
telepathically , and
put music to it –

noting nuances
in tune with fluent fretting –
non-verbal vetting

of elusive words
she only needs for we who
don’t speak her spirit.

 

© Marie Elena Good