To focus
exclusively upon
quantifiable outcomes
denies Godly math,
incremental,
sacred growth
ordained before
the world began,
and embraces
null-
set
ghosts.

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

youth

she guessed
she never
really
knew
when
she
was 13
18
21
or even 2
how
little
sense
she made
to her mother
who was too

You say I took the Name in vain
I don’t even know the Name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

Recap (Warning. Contains spoilers.):

At the end of January of this year, I was diagnosed as an adult-late-in-life on the autism spectrum.

Already have the t-shirt if you read the dx post.

Tonight I shared a narrative that happened inside my head at the consultation when I first heard the information.

Upon reflection, I’m sure you’ll catch on quicker than I did in that dimensional moment, that it’s really a little bit funny.

So, I thought to share the twist here on bh too; shiny shoebeats sway.

Metacognitive dx Narrative

Reader’s Note: Narrative is internal, exclusively inside speaker’s thoughts/mind.

I wish
I had
sat in
the other
chair.

This
one
twists
scoliosis.

He’s got
his
usual
inscrutable
face on,
but,
Oh!
What
big
eyes
he has
today!

I’m
going
to move
to
the
other-

chair.
Can’t
feel
the
shift,
twist
of
bad
chair
under-
neath
me-

Default
+
Shift.

“AdultLateInLife.”

My
subway
reverses
Warp 5
off the
platform.

Shields
U
P
!

Red
Alert!

All
crew
report
to
battle-
stations!

Priority Messages
broadcast
in
full-
4
D
color,
cross-
platform-
sensory-
input-
channels
to
a
hive
of
networked
screens
sim-
ul-
tan-
e-
ous-
ly.

Re.
:
images,
colors,
synonyms,
smells,
idioms/
sounds/
slogans/
slurs/
lyrics/
etc./
associated with/
by/
to/
representative
of/
forecast upon/
hearing
diagnosis:

“AdultLateInLife:”

Stage 4
Adulthood.

Flotsam
gusts
past
me
as fast
as
a murder
of
scared
crows
scan
sonic-
feathered
barcodes.

Scared my crows;

I didn’t hear.

He’d
have
to
go
through
it
all
over
for me
again.

Cancel
Red
Alert.

Wait.

W
A
I
T.

Resume
normal
operation
protocols.

“…on the
autism
spectrum.”

Then,
I
simply,
“Oh,”ed,

a
phoenix
rising
from
the bonfires.

I’ll do my best, it isn’t much,
I cannot see you, so I’ll try to touch,
I’ll tell the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.
And even if
it all goes wrong,
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song,
with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

Special Delivery

An unexpected
package
arrived
last week,
special
delivery.

Old-fashioned,
brown paper
hugged
the box as
timelessly
as Savta’s
shawled
shoulders
on a snowy
night.

Twine
secured
its
perimeter.
Identical
rank
and file
knots
held
fast,
with
signature,
military
precision.

Kitchen
shears
cut
clean
each
knot’s
final salute.

Brown
paper
curtains
parted
wide
open
to bare
a box
as plain
as its
wrapper.

Atop
its
simple
lid,
a well-
worn
bill of sale
sat
with the
languid
ease
of a
wrangler
on a
saddle.

The
back
side of
this
receipt
ledgered
a single
line.

The
entry,
thumb-
polished
soft
by use,
coffee-
stained
and fragile
read,

“I
put it
in
a box
for you.”

Tulip
bulbs
nestled
cozy
amid
layered
nests
of the
Mosinee
Times.

Someone
with
nursery-
man skill
had taken
meticulous
care to
keep them
cool
and
safe.

Every
prized
bulb
had been
gently
brushed
to remove
residual
dust.

Recent
sunbaths
had
completely
dried
each one.

Damaged
bulbs
had
been
saved.

Careful
exam
identified
their
injured
areas.

Tertiary
care
protocols
had been
methodically
administered.

Fungicide
veiled
their
wounds,
like
a fresh
snowfall,
a shroud
of prevention
to thwart
further
decay.

I grew up
on farms.

I knew
to store
this
treasure
chest
in a
cool,
dry
place.

The wind
whispered
steady
as I stowed
them away
on a shelf
in the garage.

“I
put
them
in
a box
for you.

“A
box,
not
a
coffin.

“They’re
Tangerine
Beauties.

“I’ll
let you
know
when
they’re
ready
to plant
sunrise.”

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew her
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

lida vignette mama

Winds
blow
hard
outside.

For
the vision
Is yet
for
an
appointed
time;

New life
buds
in
cold
soil,
Cherry
creek
daffodil
bulbs
hibernate.

But at
the end
It will
speak,
And it will
not lie.

He
grows
from
dust,
new life

Though
It
tar-
ries,

w a i t

for
it;

God is good
beyond words,
His love
never lacks.

Because
it
will
surely
come,

She
has new
challenges
and
new
opportunities.

It
will
not
tarry.

He honors
her spaces
to share
His Love
forward
like
communion
of Communion’s
community.

Bread
Of Life
challenges
challenged
challengers
through
challenges
that
grow
her
U
P
in
His
way.

God is good
beyond words,
His love
never lacks.

God
alone
reserves
her space,
His call
for her life.

Thank God
for
making me
so
mysteriously
complex!

Itinerary
Mine
alone.

Go
and
teach
what
I want
you
to teach.

Everything
you do
is
marvelously
breathtaking.

God is good
beyond words,
His love
never lacks.

It simply
amazes me
to think about it!
How thoroughly
You know me, Lord!

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

precious child

maestro conductor
she trusts me
innately
to hear
her heart song
and respond
full voice lifted
in harmony
with lyrics
her own
inimitable
love language

my privilege
to be her advocate
her audience
blessed
as she hones herself
and instrument
sacred music

precious child

crescendos
anew
accelerato
her own
cambiare
remarkable
one-of-a-kind
priceless
self

precious child

very bright
intuitively verbal
deciso
keenly empathic
festivamente fusion
keeps step with
family chords
in eternal dance

precious child

embraces
bharat matra
her Nepali culture
as a native born
and carries it back home
in new verse
passionato

precious child

revels in discovery experiences
joyfully nests
with family
extraverted riffs
piece social patchwork
across public venues
as fluid a dynamic
as chain stitches
along the binding
of a handmade quilt
or a the spray of freckles
as distinct as
its own constellation
across the nose
and ruddy cheeks
of jubilant child
mid high swing
in neighborhood parks

precious child

shares her new experiences
like notes
from sheet music
self confidence buds
authentic cameos

precious child

plunders new
experiences,
transplants
mommy & me
moments,
blends
new colors
tangoes tangerine
into her recipe of play

precious child

the musical delta
and daily miracle
gift of God
of her family
each
and all
for all time

But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

DX

Even
zen
ranked
by
the
most
gentle,
retro,
revisionistic
rubrics,
despite
socially/
developmentally-
delayed
features;
I am an adult.

Full
disclosure:
at best,
I am
a
youngy-
old
woman.
No
longer
on
the
oldish-
side
of
young,
travel
with
ID
unnecessary;
no
one
cards
me.

Perhaps,
it’s
more
simple
and
I
am
just
another
old
adult,
certainly
past
the
typical
season
for
continental
shifts
in
identity.

Chronology
aside
however,
‘round
about
Thanks-
giving,
2016,
it
occurred
to me,
that
I
couldn’t
pass
as
“normal,”
even
to myself.

Even
though-

I.
Tried.
Everything.
I
knew
or
read
through
systematic
trials.
I
recorded
data,
analyzed
results,
and
controlled
indicated,
variables
to
adjust
test
method
parameters.

Thread
worn
as
baba’s
mop
rag,
I
wrung
every-
possible
suppositional
drop
from
these
experiments.

Perpetually,
I
tried
to pass
as
relentlessly,
and
intensely
I
was
labeled
INTENSE
(not in
a
good way,
mind
you).

Usually,
when
I
really
want
to
create
meaning
to
pattern
change
and
route
exodus
from
conditioned
parameters,
I
produce
results,
however
modest
or
slow
to norm.

NOT
SO
THIS.

A
random,
variable,
X
unelected,
undesired,
outs me
vulnerable.

Despite
therapy,
education,
career,
marriage,
blessed
children,
forever
wanted,
I
could
not
pass.

People
noticed.

Colleagues,
my husband,
our
children,
dear
friends
networked
consensus
as
viral
tumbler
that
confirmed
me
odd.

Random
reblog
notes
something
about
me
off,
and
a
little,
shiny
bit
that
bends
light
in
chaotic
angles
that
sort
‘a
squint
their
eyes
shut.

Not
much
was
said
to
me
directly,
and
yet,
I
could
often
sense
recoil
when
they
reached
for
their
sun
glasses
or
threw
shade.

Such
relational
signals
torqued
my
analysis
into
hyper-
drive.

To
know
why
transformed
want
into
need.

Security
risks
recalibrate
my
research.

Dire
internal,
tornado
warnings
broadcast
evacuation
drills
like
gubernatorial
orders:

Develop
safety
protocols
to
protect
children
from
collateral
damage.

The
nuclear
family
that
raised
me
ran
a
mill,
union-
workers
manned
24/7
shifts.

Its
conversion
process
fed
my
faulty
chips
directly
into
the
assembly
line’s
ravenous
maw
to
produce
pulp
prose
that
proves
there
is
something
wrong
with
me.
Like
an
errant
piece
of
code
that
breaks
the
smooth
build
of
family
unity,
my
bark
rejected
as
unusable
fibres
darken
the
pulp.

Such
systematic
feed
back
loops
identified
me
as
the
system
glitch.

Pop-up-
error-
messages
in
resplendent
bold,
ALL
caps
print
included
stop
signs
to
confirm
same
on
my
laptop.

Their
attempts
to
upgrade
my
operating
system
downloaded
constant
commands:

“If
you
get
your
ass
off
your
shoulders”

“If
you
try
hard
enough,”

and

“If,
and
only
if,
YOU
GET
OVER
YOURSELF
and
LET
IT
GO
ALREADY,
R
E
A
L
L
Y,
For
God’s
Sake,”

“Only
then
will
you
be
normal,
better
company,
and
easier
to
get along
with,”

and

“Clearly,
you
aren’t
REALLY
trying,
or,
at the
very
least,
not
trying
HARD
enough
to
get
it
right.

Over
time,
it
also
became
crystal
clear
that
I never
did.

Get
it
right.

Not
EVER.

Fast
forward:
to
now
and
my
own
family
God
gave:
Our
precious
homestead
no
longer
could
bear
X’s
collateral
damage.

I
wanted
for
my
children
more
of
a
mother
than
what
I
could
tender.

Despite
my
known,
know,
knowing,
knowledge,
discord
clashed
outcomes
I had
methodically
deleted
from
my
user
profile.

So,
I
got
me
a
good
psychiatrist,
who
asked
hard
questions.

I
loathed
my
deficits
more
fiercely
than
my
capacity
to
love
my
husband
beloved,
or
our
four,
precious,
innocent,
children.

Just
this
past
Tuesday,
January
31,
2017,
two
days
shy
of
Punxsutawney
Phil,
Seer
of Sages,
eye-
spied
his
shadow
in forecast
of
six more
weeks
of
winter

Clinical,
empirical,
objective,
reproducible
data…

(_least my
blended
parents
all
believe
I
am
making
this
all up,
again-)

…identified
me
as
an
adult,
late
in life
dx’d
on
the
autism
spectrum.

Relief
drenches
rain
upon
an
arid
oasis,
splashes
reprieve,
and
puddles
tears.

I am
NOT
a
fucked-
up,
broken,
damaged.
not-good-enough,
shameful
excuse
of a
daughter,
woman,
wife,
or
mother.

There
is
a
reason
and
name
for
why
I
cluster
cognition
like
constellations
pattern
stars
across
the
night
sky.

Abject
release
falls
Niagara
baptism
and
washes
me
clean.

I
am
undone
amid
the
rabble
pile
deconstruction,
my
identity.

A new
frame
raises
my barn.

I got
a
lot
to
hammer
out.
Likely
may
whack
an
errant
thumb
along
the way.

Yet,
tonight
Saturday
February 4,
2017,
as I
lay me
down
to sleep,
and
pray
the
Lord,
my
soul
to
keep,
I
lift
prayers
of thanksgiving.

Our
Father,
who
art
in
heaven,
may
it
be
Your will
that
this
dx
allows
me
liberty
to
live
out
and
be
who
You
made
me.

This
changes
everything
I
ever
knew
anew.

I am
more
grateful
than
anything
I can
si-
mul-
tan
e-
ous-
ly-
list
in
metacognitive,
pull-
down-
menus-
streams
list,
or
smells
shout
colors.

I
am
by
Your
design
made;
I
dwell
in
possibilities.

Hallelujah!

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

Sacred Dichotomy

We are
born.

Our
Father,
all knowing,
ever loving,
delivers us
to
the family
He Knows
Plants us
in the
perfect
ground
for
each
one
of us
to
begin
our lives
in his will.

We
grew up
a
certain
way.
We
learned
and
heard
loud and
clear
what
our moms
and
dads
think
is
good
and
bad.

It’s not easy probably,
being family.

Our
homesteads
taught
by
process,
as
how to
gather
eggs
from the
coop
without
a
break,
or
how to
drive
a nail
without
cost
to
thumb.

Such
lessons
protected
our
eyes
as
filters
safeguard
a
lens.
All
trained
our eyes
up
to
see
and
know
what
relationship
and
business
and
hard work
look like
here
on
these
family farms.

These
pictures,
all
among
the
infinite
and
perfect
ways
and means
our
roots
sank
d
e
e
p
l
y
into
the garden
He
first tilled
for
us to
prosper
our
lives
through
grace.

It’s not easy probably,
being family.

We
want
to be
good.
We
want
to
do all
the
right
things
the
right way.
Photographs,
however,
take time
to
develop
sharp,
clear
images.
Humble
mortals,
we
forget.

Our
unremembered
harvest,
all that
fruit-
the
moist sweet,
the
foul bitter,
is
not
ours
to put
up
alone.

So,
instead,
we
pressure
cook
ourselves
like
fresh
strawberries
too
long
in
the
cooker
upon
the
hot
wood
stove.

Left
unattended
too long,
the
potent
force
locked
beneath
heavy
gauge
boils
hazardous.
Rocket
fuel
erupts
scarlet
splatter
up on
the
kitchen
ceiling
in
abstract
expression,
rather
than
making
jam.

It’s not easy probably,
being family.

We
know
what
is
expected
as
if
written
on
tablets
of stone.
Crystal
clear
guidelines
reinforce
like
nursery rhymes
since
before
we
remember
genesis.

Such
family
codes
make
it
easy
for us
to
know
when
or
how
we
are
doing
well
or
failing.

We
know
what
is
expected.
We
want
to
get
it
right,
not just
go through
the
motion
by
stations.

Yet,
just
last week
the
pickles
burst
Pollack
sonic
boom,
an
inter-
section
jade
across
the
straw-
berry
stain,
our
ceiling’s
canvas.

We
some
times
get
mad.
Vain,
feet
pedal
a
dervish
upon
flat
tires
of
an
out-
grown-
bike
hid
in the
woodshed.

We.
Just.
Can’t.
Follow.
The.
Recipe.
Perfectly.

We
don’t
get
it
all
right.
We
know
we
used
the
same
ingredients,
and
yet,
no
jars
line
the
shelves
of
our
root
cellars
to
guard
against
the
winter
as
they did
every
fall
at
busia’s
house.

Other
times,
we get
so mad
we quit,
curled
ball
of spit.

We
fallow
like
fields,
erosion’s
costly
response
to
rigidity.

It’s not easy probably,
being Family.

We
marry
someone
and
think
we
will
be
happy.
Kids,
and
expectations,
and
all
that
that,
make
it
harder
as
we
only
grow
older.

We
think
we
know
what
we
need
to
do
and
be
to
sanctify
our
own
lives
and
live
as we are
supposed
to
be.

We
think
we
know
what
it takes
until
a
blaze
of
locust.
blinds
us.

We
do
not see
our
response
for
what
it is,
an
epic,
ageless,
battle
of wills,
no more
what
we
were
made for
than
the
inert
plot,
just
there
outside
our
kitchen
window.

It’s not easy probably,
being Family.

The
sacrifice.

Any
farmer
worth
salt
will
tell ya
that
it takes
a lot
of work
to
cultivate
new harvest
from
unsown
dirt.

If
he
reads
your face
listens,
he will
add
that
it can’t
get
done
alone.

When,
finally,
we
cry
out,
please
help
us
raise
this
barn;
our
family,
by blood
and
others,
same
as kin
through
mercy made,
shows up.

They
forget
to
bring
hammers.
One just
burst
a
thumb
for
a board.
Their
not-
always-
helpful-
help,
an
at
times
an
unnecessary
crutch.

Still,
the
picnic
baskets
they
carry
along
with them
over
flow
juicy,
fresh,
sticky,
moist,
melon
that
blushes
pink
delicious,
slate,
shiny
seeds
salute
crescent
moons
fully
stocked,
daily bread,
and wine.

It’s not easy probably,
being Family.

Oh,
yeah,
and the
barn’s
up.

We also
planted
a new
patch
of
blackberries
in the
back
for
preserve,
that
kind
of
jelly
jaja
always loved.

It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

I get it.
The thing is,
that I do.
Get it.

Really.

Ultimately,
it simply is
as pedestrian as,
“It is what it is.”

He tabernacles with us.

Really.

All these relentless,
consecutive,
stretching lessons.

God given gifts all.

Zero downtime
and then,
another
mercy of your will
stretches
us again.

The cycle remains constant.

Only one variable.
We grew.
Closer.
To Him.

He walks beside us.

Really.

And that’s it.
over five
blessed
Stretching years
In the making,
the big crescendo.

Really.

It.
Is.
What.
It.
Is.

God is who He says He is.

This earth is as He said it would be.

He dwells within us.

Glory Be to God.

Yesterday.
Today.
Tomorrow.

But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…

The highs and lows of the week roller-coasted with such a centrifugal force of hormones that a Rite of Passage collided with a Mens Warehouse.

I bought The Boy his first suit today for his 8th grade graduation tomorrow. I couldn’t take him before today because he’s been cramming for finals.

The Boy is 6 feet tall and weighs 155 pounds.
These vital statistics prove he is a freak of nature
as just yesterday he was less than 7 pounds
and boasted only 21 inches.

I’m gonna have to measure, but I think his left foot now might be longer than he was when he was born.

So we walk into this suit place and Matthew comes over to wait on The Boy.

The Boy looks at Matthew who’s got style written all over him from his purple tie to his black cowboy boots and gives Matthew the eyebrow. The Boy has very expressive eyebrows that can communicate a derisive snub or an impressed bravo depending on their signature arc. He extended Matthew the thumbs-up eye brow. The Boy was quick to notice Matthew’s accessories too. The thumb ring and hand-hammered, silver slave cuff bracelet earned a nod. Matthew’s hair also met approval, tussled with that just-out-of-bed look that takes 45 minutes and two kinds of product to produce.

So as not to mislead you, let me say upfront that our boy is straight. He wasn’t sizing up Matthew, he was making notes as this first suit of his will not only be worn for graduation tomorrow, but also his first formal dance tomorrow night.

So I walk in with The Boy whose shuffling in a pair of warped flip flops and a stained pair of PE shorts (he won’t let me toss because they’re in beloved favorites), and he intersects with Matthew whose got some major swagger.

That was probably the moment that escalated the shopping trip from one that I knew was going to be expensive to one that got really expensive.

Historically,
The Boy loathes shopping.
He hates it.
He detests it.
Like it he does not.
Disinclined be he.

I get him to buy new shoes by throwing out the old pair.
Not being able to dress-out for PE motivates him.
He wears the same three shirts
over and over again
unless I hide them.
I expect his classmates think we are on food stamps.

That’s The Boy I took into the men’s clothing store today.

We’re five minutes into a shopping experience with Matthew and The Boy’s asking for fashion advice. He’s actively discussing purple versus pink as an accent color and which tie best pulls a pattern. We didn’t go in there to buy shoes and he pets a pair on display and confesses to Matthew that he really doesn’t like borrowing his dad’s shoes and that they kind of pinch his pinky toe.

Matthew counsels my son on the importance of taking care of his feet as he is an athlete and is gonna need them strong for the field as well as the dance floor.

The Boy was almost purring once it came time to pin his pants to hem. He quickly agreed it was worth the initial investment for the perma-crease for his trousers.

He and Matthew extolled the virtues of a heavy, cedar hanger for hanging suits and willingly practiced hanging up his own pants so that they would not wrinkle. Matthew explained to him that a man needed to know how to take care of his own suit without the help of mom.

To his credit, The Boy knew who held to the American Express card and gave me a look. It was the I-love-you-aren’t-I-adorable-I’m-your-boy-eyebrow.

He puts his arm around me after the eye-popping tally hits the credit card voucher and opines that he really doesn’t mind if I chaperone the dance.

(On the way to Mens Warehouse he stated that he had vomit in his mouth at the very same prospect.)

We return two hours later to pick-up his altered suit and pressed shirt. He greets Matthew with this complicated handshake-slap routine I can’t imagine where he learned. Matthew leads him to a fitting room to try his suit on and it happens.

The Boy comes out with
Young,
Proud
Swagger
that needs no thumb ring.
His attitude’s shiny
Youth,
Power
and Hope.

Potential
pops his buttons
as much as his ego
and I see our son thrill
himself with the strapping figure
and delighted grin
that greets him in the
3-way-mirror most women dread
that loves him like
the camera loves Brad Pitt.

My eyes blur as I watch my boy see himself and like the man he sees.

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

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