An Autistic Smile

Bruise-ridden and eye-punched,

you came back to us.

"Specialists" had administered

a clinical beating

all over.



Some things I can never comprehend:

Hurting a retarded child

as if one was

strangling a doll.

How the cloth-legs dangle

above the tile,

praying to fall.



This was my final memory

of you.

And I wish to see you again,

not black and blue,

but a grown man.

Unable to speak,

yet saying so much.



You're still the reason I cry

when I see the one-armed kid

in aisle five

half-hugging his dad

and smiling high.



Reminder of our shame.

Of the ungrateful,

deaf to the simple truth

in your laughter.

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