Sunday, 24 May 2009

A Birth

I’m painting windows

listening to noise outside;

teenagers shouting above an autumn wind.

Normal teenage girls, I guess.

Normal?

Back to Andrew’s birth and a room

-       sky blue and white – high on a hill

in Yorkshire. For 40 minutes in a life

he seemed normal. Then

they said I should hold him

and so I did

as any firstborn father cradles – clumsily -

and he transformed:

‘Down’s Syndrome probably’ they said.

 

Shock. Grievous. Tears soaked

through family. Loss

of expectation flowed.

We couldn’t see! Embarrassing now, unaware,

as I clumsily drip paint onto cold pink hands,

that a teacher had been born.


20 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful, John. Thank you for sharing it. It brought tears to my eyes!

    I have two children on the autistic spectrum and the have been the brightest blessings of my life!

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  2. One might think that he teaches only you but he has managed to teach a lot of us. I can't imagine those first crushing moments. Must have shattered & brought chaos about in your soul. But now, now you pass what you've learned on to us. You even pass on the blast of confused wonder that must hit you. I say this because it has hit me. Keep going

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  3. My goddaughter, Lili, is down syndrome ( or "T23") and she, too, is a little teacher. Thank you for a beautiful poem.

    Stacy Alexander
    (ARTISTstacy on Twitter)

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  4. all i am is a student... of life. ready & willing to learn. teach me!

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  5. How beautiful! You brought me back to a November
    afternoon, the most beautiful, amazing Day of my Life...
    Thank you for your exquisitely worded picture, and for being an
    Agent of Change.
    PeaceLove&Smiles

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  6. Truly a lovely and touching poem.

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  7. All of your poetry is absolutely wonderful. And what a smart boy to choose a Father like you. You are absolutely right he is here to teach and I am so pleased to know you know that. You might enjoy the work of Dr Brian Weiss one of his videos talks about the disabled being higher spirits here to teach. I think the video is entitled physical appearance and autism.

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  8. Beautiful, heartfelt and moving. I so felt your words as you wrote. Fwiw, my son was born at 2lbs 8 ounces and I know that feeling when they tell you "something could be wrong". Your world stops, but your love for your baby does not.

    I agree w/Phoenix 143 in that your son is a higher spirit here to teach..

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  9. Beautiful....it really touched me.

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  10. Dear John Oh Oh Oh :) tears of Joy to the lesson you and your son Andrew have given all who read this Poem. (and the many others of Andrew & your Life that is shown in your beautiful poetry )
    This one however is Just that a lesson in a message through poetry to all of us to Think about how we are taught to see things in often such boxed & what happens often negative ways, particularly when we give thought to that horrid word NormaL .. IT just does Nothing of positive worth for anyone or thing ...I personally think. :) Thank you again for sharing with me your poetry it is always a Wonderful experience for me : kind regards Beez ;)

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  11. Very touching poem. Your words are passionate.

    http://alexdissing.blogspot.com/

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  12. A gripping poem. I could feel your pain,confusion and love. He picked a great dad.

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  13. Aided by a translator I have read your beautiful poem. I want to congratulate him and giv my full support. Regards.

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  14. This is a beautiful and very touching piece.

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  15. Words to touch the soul. Emotive and beautiful. Many thanks for sharing

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