By Joseph Hesch
The eight-year-old pinballs
back and forth, up and down
the aisles of the market,
making sure all the cans and boxes
are aligned perfectly with
the edge of their shelves.
His mother’s firm and exhausted call
carries from canned goods to dairy.
”Jeremy, come back here, now.”
”Jeremy,please leave that.”
”Jeremy, now, Jeremy.”
But her Nerf words bounce off
the boy’s seemingly unhearing ears,
blocked by a soundless enthusiastic voice
cheering his next split-second adventure.
His tunnel of attention feels right,
as his hands flap to his next task,
even though he never wanted
to leave home with Mom in the first place.
”Jeremy, hey lookit!.
”Jeremy, go, Jeremy.”
Nearby, a white-hair looks on
with disdain at the unruly little boy
who needs a good spanking.
That’s just what she told her daughter
to give her grandson when he would
act up like this. Now her daughter
doesn’t speak to her and
her grandson’s a very quiet
young man who doesn’t answer
when Grandma calls:
“Jacob, please pick up.”
“Jacob, it’s Gram, Jacob!”
© 2012 Joseph Hesch
I’ve been noodling with this piece for a little while–on and off for two years, actually. I saw a little boy in the market Saturday who moved me to complete it. Had to finish. As I was once again going over it before posting, I found out today is World Autism Awareness Day. I had no idea, just as Grandma has no idea (or doesn’t want to) about Autism, either. I don’t claim to know much about Autism, but I learned a lot from visiting the Autism Speaks Web site. You might want to check it out, too.