A Father’s Songs to His Autistic Son – 1

Posted on February 2, 2011

When You Came to Us

She carried a nickel-plated 38 in her purse

I wondered why

Until I saw her clientele

Until I saw her clientele

Battered, beaten, stoned,

Tattooed and stinking, they were

Addicted, diseased, and hopelessly helpless


They bred and bred and bred

And spawned little angels into the midst of their squalor

And somehow expected them to thrive.


But sometimes other angels got to them first

And their progeny were not allowed to be.

They became a “Failure to Thrive,”

Like your sister, who died

In a filthy cardboard box.


She was too weak to pine for milk

Too dirty, too miserable,

And too exhausted to even whimper.

She slipped into limbo and never

Really saw the stars, or felt love.

As she quietly perished, there was

Only a nurse to raise a cry of protest


To call the Woman with the Nickel-Plated Revolver,

Hoping she would go to a judge

and say “If we can’t keep her from breeding,

At least take the next one before this happens, yet again”


Miraculously, the judge had said OK,

And less than a year later, the woman went,

Revolver in her purse, deputy at her side,

And she took you from your crib, only 48 hours alive.


And then she came to us.

She said, would you guys like a “baby?”

We had just returned with another little guy to

Relinquish him to his drugged out mother’s parents.


We had nursed his wounds, watched his bruises fade,

Had seen the cigarette burns slowly heal

But leave their scars.


And we had loved him. He had crawled onto my lap and

Called me “daddy.” He felt the magic of falling asleep in the

Arms of someone whose care needs no question.


We knew his grandparents would care for him,

But we still hurt inside.

Some places of the heart heal only as glaciers move.


And so it was that

We stood on the porch of the old Services Building, staring at each

Other, then at the cracks in the old concrete porch, each of

Us loathe to return to our waiting car, with its empty infant seat.


And she appeared

Gigantic purse bobbing against her hip,

In her hands  a court order,

In her eye she carried an angry stare

I was amused about the bag, her gun, and her certain stride,


She was on her way to

The hospital, and said she hoped

the morning wouldn’t get too ugly.

And she said “Are you sure you’re up to this?.

“A baby boy?  You know I can make no promises.”


More pain, more disappointment?

How many would this one make?

For me the idea of an infant child

Was like standing with my feet half out

On a canyon’s edge, hoping the wind wouldn’t blow.

That was my mind, my world, my state, as I tried to

Sneak back into my own reality.

But your about-to-be mom,

the woman I had loved for years and years

said “Yes.” Which is one of the reasons I

loved her so much…no fear, no doubt.

Just a simple “yes” with no hesitation.

And thus it was.

You came into our lives.

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