This isn’t going to be the final version of this poem. I thought of it in the shower. I don’t know where it came from, but I remember this moment very clearly. This poem is a true story, and I remember it being such a big moment for my mom.

My brother has a severe case of autism. He’s nonverbal and he can be very loud. I remember him having a particularly loud day and I asked my mom why he was so loud. She took it the wrong way and turned it into a lesson.

I don’t know how I recognized the moment she was about to have, but I let her have it anyway. I knew the moment was bigger than me and it was a moment she was waiting for. This always stuck with me, and I don’t know why. I might have written about this before, but I know I’ll revise this at some point and submit it somewhere.


I remember the first time
I grew up, pleasing my mother
who still doesn’t know,
why I asked what I did when.

Ten-year-old me asked her
why my brother who has Autism
wouldn’t stop yelling.

She was proud to answer;
I could sense it–she said
it was how he was born–
Peter was severely autistic.

I already knew that.
It wasn’t the first time we talked
about Peter being loud.

I meant to say loud today,
not in general.
I wanted to hear my TV show
without raising the volume.

My intentions were childish,
but I learned to let loved ones
have their moment, to listen.



There are two weeks left to submit your work for the 2018 Winter Issue of Come and Go Literary. If you have a short story you’d like to submit, see my submission guidelines for more details.

One Comment Add yours

  1. tara caribou says:

    Well, I like it just as is. It doesn’t feel unfinished to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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