April is National Autism Awareness month. I will be posting a series of pieces this month dedicated to my lovely little sister. Autism is very diverse. It is expressed differently as each individual is unique. I wrote this poem 10 years ago (I was 13 years old and my sister was 10 years old) to try and capture my little sister’s autistic nature and our special relationship.
“Faith in Her World”
Written in 2007 by Charissa Grace | Dedicated to Richelle Faith
I was sitting on the couch downstairs, thumbing the pages of my book.
The blinds were open slightly, so that the warm sun splashed against my face.
You were singing to a tune that played in your head.
You walked around in circles, with your green gown dancing behind you after every swift move.
Every now and then, you would flick your hand in front of your face, as if it were a friend or a companion talking to you.
You would recite lines from your favorite Disney movies.
And you would hang from the railings, as if you were a damsel in distress.
I would gaze at you while you were lost in your mind, and imagine to be a resident of my own little world.
Every night, you would climb in my bed, and hold a fairytale book in my face.
I would read to you, while after every sentence you would say what the picture illustrated.
Then I would hold your hand and we would pray about our family and friends.
I would give you my butterfly kisses, and brush my nose against yours.
We would say our goodnights and go to sleep.
While my eyes are closed, I can feel yours are open.
I know that at any second you will ask to get a drink.
I would give you permission, and you will go down stairs, with your hand still flicking in front of you.
I can hear you in the kitchen, rummaging around to get a glass, muttering lines from previous movies you saw that day.
I would ponder a lot on what it is like, to appear as a normal 10- year old, but not know more than your 4- year old brother.
To carry the burden of sadness inside, when all you can do is cry silent tears.
To think no means yes, and up means down.
To not know the difference between on and off.
But not all the benefits of your world may be seen in my eyes as in yours.
While I can speak my mind, you can stay quiet and not be bothered.
But maybe in the future, I can visit your world, and you will be my guide as I am yours in mine.