After the op

Your voice was groggy on the phone

As we spoke

Afternoon light falls softly

Just as it did in the hours after Mum died

Hospital beds became a familiar place

All too familiar in those later years

As we kept our silent vigils

And it is not until we talk

That I realise how much fear I carry

And how much I stumble and falter

In really knowing how to be there

In a programme today on autism

Suffers spoke of difficulties with social cues

And obeying the rules

Everyone else just conforms to naturally

Or takes for granted

And then I recall how gauche

I so often felt in company

Always a few paces left of ‘normal’

And as they spoke of the enormous cost

Of not fitting in

Of being different

I could not help but sense how sad it is

This society

Where everything is defined

By such sharp parameters

You may never know the feelings I have in my heart

For you

I know in the past we struggled to be close

But now as I hear your voice

Still groggy from all the meds

I shed so many tears

And feel such deep seated fears

My entire body felt so strange

After we left each other here

And I stumble to find the words

To communicate

What my heart so wants to say

But somehow I must try

Because to remain silent

Just hurts me

Far far too much

And somehow I realise

As mysterious as these feelings are

This strange mix of pain and trembling

And hurting and longing

Is a lot like


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