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Here is a poem inspired by National Autism Awareness month.

They called you autistic,
caustic geriatric
in paediatric ward
they note you,
treated you different.
Were you special?
On some sort of pedestal?
First born spawn of Satan,
she speaks verbatim,
paints perfect pictures
in water colour.
She asked to stick the geriatric on the
psychiatric ward.
Only did the young nurse not know,
that this old woman was once a child, a mother, a sister, lover.
Did you think of her as remote and cold,
when really she was growing old?
You added autistic to her growing list of labels,
she flipped and turned the tables
But it is then, now, something soothes her,
not some decrepit sacred cow, or health care worker
but another female patient seated in the same row,
offers her a crumb of comfort, a boiled sweet,
her time nearly up, or course she must eat.
But like always she rebels against systems and authority
for her notoriety.
Her sister could have saved her but now
she’s dead in spirit – oozing out street cred –
says she is some sort of philanthropist,
setting the world to rights,
while leaving Mavis without a cure,
autistic, beyond repair,
to say her last goodnight.


About Geraldine Ward

Geraldine Ward has been writing and performing various forms of poetry and prose from an early age, and is a regular contributor at the London Farrago Poetry Slam nights. She has published a number of books including the "Now" collection, and has featured in other publications including Katie Metcalfe's "Beautiful Scruffiness" series of magazines.


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