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A World Apart
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Asperger's children

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There Were Shadows

There were shadows playing hide and seek

Around his feet as leaves -

Little mice -

Scatter playfully away

Trees undressing for

Winter's brisk embrace

The first blush of autumn's

Romance - yellow and red

Clinging modestly to branches

That send them on their way

As any good parent will.

Wind whispers empty promises

He's heard it all before

On other walks like these

When, mind reeling from reality

He steps outside the door

Let the fresh air clear out

The worries that bedevil him.

As footstep follows footstep

A page in life gets turned

First work, then the home work

The dishes and the unpaid bills

Each page read and move on

The story reaches its crescendo

When the clutter's gone.

There should be more

He thinks, there was more

Once before it got so muddled

What word was it exactly

What look he did or didn't give

What thing he did or didn't do

What man he was or wasn't

Doesn't matter. She is gone.

A dog barks in the distance.

Someone laughs - almost ghostly

He can't see them through the trees

But he can feel the silence

Down inside where once

She had been;

Now it's just too damn quiet.

He sighs. Nights like tonight

He curses that he needed her

He wishes there were some operation

That could take away the wanting

And leave his soul in peace.

He sees a promise in a stranger's smile

Then remembers - we were strangers once

The voyage of discovery was fun

The hurricane that followed

The shipwreck on the shore

Was it worth it?

For a while there

He had something more

He was a part of something

A half of a greater whole

Funny how it feels so simple

When it's there inside you

And how it feels so impossibly unreal

When you're on your own.

There's a scent of water in the breeze

And thunder in the distance

A storm is brewing

Something to clear the air,

To wash away the dirt.

He turns around

And heads back home.

Tonight he'll sit in his easy chair

A can of beer beside him

A newspaper cries the day's misfortunes

The t.v. spews inanities

Distorted views of lives

Nobody lives

He puts his feet up

Lights a cigarette

He should quit these things he thinks

But what would fill the space it leaves

If he were to do that?

Lightening flashes brilliant energy

Thunder shakes the walls

He lights a candle

To ward against the darkness

That will follow.

Sure enough, the lights go out

The hum of the appliances

The drone of the t.v.

The tick-tock of the mantle clock

Fall silent.

The rain marches legions against

The window panes

There are raindrops throwing spears

To the ground.

Strange how the silence

Can be so very loud

And darkness can be palpable;

How crowds be lonely

And being alone can be full.

He sighs.

The power won't come back soon

The candles are burning low.

He blows them out gently

And fumbles into bed.

In the morning

When he awakes

The sun will shine brightly

The noise of life will have returned

People be busy

And so will he.

The air will be clean and fresh

The grass green and shiny.

Or so he hopes

It will be.

©2000 Catherine M. Harris (Davies)