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?
The artwork entitled Autism in the Trenches which is based on the above poem was installed for public consumption at ArtPrize 2021. It has now come home and awaits installation on the only wall big enough to support it.
Search for Lot 90-70454
For more details go to this link: https://www.artprize.org/70454