AUTISM: A POEM
. . . . . XIII. Dark Refuge
My son runs among the thick trees in this wildlife
. . . . . refuge, and I’m amazed at his ability to maneuver
through the narrow gaps—leaping each obstacle
. . . . . in the covered maze, jumping every exposed root
jutting up or fallen branch underfoot—leading
. . . . . me through those limited openings as if he knows
where he is going, even though we have never
. . . . . been here before. He seems unafraid of what lies
ahead. Birds chirp somewhere in the dark snarl
. . . . . of limbs looming above us, then fly away unseen.
By the time we reach a wide clearing, I’m nearly
. . . . . out of breath and in need of rest, but Alex appears
refreshed, ready to begin again. Without a word,
. . . . . he rushes by me, back to that black web of shadow.