This is not a gift.

This is not a gift
The thrashing, slashing
high pitched screams
The inability
To regulate
The nightmarish dreams

This is not a gift
The sensory seeking
And constant smears
The messes
And elopement
Amidst many jeers

This is not a gift
The anxiety to a hilt
The flapping hands
And banging head
The thoughts laced constantly
With guilt

This is not a gift
The non verbal guessing game
A game we play
Because we must
But frustrating
all the same.

This is not a gift
The hours making calls
The sleepless nights
And haunting tales
The writing
on the walls

This is not a gift
Fighting tooth & nail
For every damn
That might just help
My kid prevail

This is not a gift
The dollars always spent
on lifesaving meds
and tall safety beds
Which often deter
Paying rent
This is not a gift
Caregiver fight or flight
The isolation
And heart palpitations
The harrowing screams
Through the night.

This is not a gift
Constant PTSD
The tears
And desperate pleas
For anyone
To please see me.

This is not a gift
This version of the ‘bow
The red & yellow
Black & blue
The constant stress
And woe.

This part is not a gift
But other parts
They sure are great
Like patience learned
& kindness too
Towards those who are different
Than me & than you.

And the breakthrough moments
That make us smile
Those moments
When we walk
The extra mile.

And when he cups my face
And softly sings to me
And waves his head
So gently
To the sweet, sweet

The wins
That come with pain
They make it more worthwhile
But truth be told
And tell the truth
I will not spread beguile

This life is hard
For me & him
The loses piled high
We hold on tight
To faith & hope
Until the day we die.

Hope that those
Who follow us
Will learn & love
And prosper
Because we used
our time to teach
And never lost
Our luster