A poem by ASF volunteer Nick Lombardi

Thank you Nick!

——————

Behind those eyes
Behind those eyes tells a story,
Stories of struggle, stories of joy,
Stories of mothers crying,
And husbands tightly holding them saying “it’s going to be ok.”Mothers on their knees asking God:
Why my boy?
Why my pride and joy?
Why must this happen to such a perfect soul?
How will this affect my family as a whole?
And they receive no answer, and they feel they are unloved; and given a curse.

But then that mother goes home to that child,
That child who has been branded…
AUTISTIC
That child, that doctors said will never succeed,
Who has a certain glow in his eyes, like northern stars.
And as she looks into his eyes she knows that there’s something more.
Something behind those blank as the night sky eyes,

But as she gazes in those eyes she can’t find what it is that draws her in.
And she hopes and prays that one day she will discover what that is.

As years go by, that mother’s love grows more, and more stories sprout in those eyes.

Stories of children laughing and pointing, shouting out
“Hey look at the retard over there!”
Though the child fully understands, they are unable to form the words to defend themselves,
So they make that weird sound that those kids find so damn funny.
And they make movements with their hands that people love to freakn imitate.

But there’s more.

Stories of constant therapies,
Stories of break throughs, when the boy finally can say in sign language,
I love you!

And as the mother rejoices in this crowing achievement,
That mother finally sees what she’s been looking for.

That behind those eyes there’s more than stories,
More than weird noises and body language.

There’s a voice, one that has been stricken,
Inside crying out,
I wanna speak like them!
I wanna have fun like them!
I wanna dream like them!

But most of all I wanna say!
I love you mommy!

And right there –that mother realizes that they have been answered.
That they have not been cursed.
They learn that they have been given the most pure love of all.
And as time goes on, they learn to appreciate every little milestone, no matter how small.

So don’t judge that child until you too look into their eyes
Because,
Behind those eyes, there hides a boy, wanting to be just like you.
Behind those eyes.

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