I couldn’t find my glasses this morning when I got out of my bed…
and as my hands groped around feeling for them…Asia popped into my head.
Asia was a beautiful, blind Autistic student I had many years ago…one I tried desperately to reach…which, thankfully, also left me open to all she had to teach.
Asia lived in the world she was born into…the world her fate designed…
she taught me I had to enter into her world before I could welcome her into mine.
Asia talked to herself incessantly…she had this running conversation going on inside her head…and it appeared this running conversation was way more interesting than anything I did or said.
One day I got this bright idea…I sat down and listened to the conversations in her head…then I began repeating…everything she said.
I remember the first time I did this…Asia paused, smiled then slowly swayed her head…
and when her head brushed up against my shoulder, “Is that you Yerman.” She said.
When I told her it was me who without being invited had encroached upon her space…she reached her hand up gently and began to feel my face.
She didn’t care what color my skin was, my age, my weight, my sex…these things she could not see…she only cared that, through the magic of her hands, she was beginning to recognize me.
From that moment on whenever I sat next to her…in the glow of her smile I’d bask…
and when I started repeating what she said…”Is that You, Yerman” she’d ask.
Then she’d feel my face and laugh…sometimes, I think she laughed a bit too much…which made me wonder if my face which I thought handsome in the mirror…
wasn’t as handsome to the touch.
And this was how we taught each other…with my eyes I helped, a little, to set Asia free
and in her blindness she taught me…you don’t need eyes to see.
Perhaps when it comes to getting along…being blind to our differences is the key…
Perhaps closing our eyes and opening our hearts is the best way for us to see.
When I finally found my glasses, and my blurriness had cleared…
for what it’s worth…
The first thing I did was close my eyes
and wish we had more Asias on this Earth.
Copyright © Jim Yerman | Year Posted 2023
Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.
to post a comment