Monthly Archives: September 2021

Autism in the Trenches

AUTISM IN THE TRENCHES
BY KIRI L. K. SALAZAR

There is a foe, I cannot see
Wired with hair-trigger senses.
Conflict borne in infancy
     Camouflaged in normalcy
My heart is sore, my soul fatigued
Fighting Autism in the trenches.

My Janus child walks a line between his world and mine
I cannot cross his no-man’s land, the battle never ceases.
Nor can he find his way to me
Along a treacherous path 
Where every wrong step may carve him to pieces.

Some days, the screaming never seems to end.
Severed nerves send SOSes.
Signals get crossed, get lost in transmission
It might be joy, but why take chances?

The silence is worse.
Laying traps of false expectation.
A minefield of hope and regret
With a route that daily changes.

I have waged war against tics and compulsions
Aiming for inclusion.
Making I.E.Ps into I.E.D.s
Is not an error in transcription
But a battle plan with no excuses.

I am tired of this war.
I am raw.  I am defeated.
I have forgotten, 
Who am I really fighting for?
If the one I love is the one who is bleeding?
I cannot fight it any more.

In the Land of Normal, Autism is the enemy.
There are no victors and no survivors.
Unless I surrender completely to the pain of what is
and make peace with what will never be.

Instead of making war on his differences,
I will raise the white flag
And embrace those moments of calm.
For, if all I know is war, how can I ever come home?

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The artwork entitled Autism in the Trenches which is based on the above poem is scheduled to go up for auction via Miedema Auctioneering, Inc.  at the conclusion of ArtPrize 2021 and the proceeds are to be donated to the local organization Autism Support of Kent County. Installation will take place September 11 at Veterans Memorial Park 22 Sheldon Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Search for Lot 90-70454

For more details go to this link: https://www.artprize.org/70454