Autism by Jackie Biggs

or: how the psychologist ‘interviewed’
the mother of an autistic teenager,
who after years of trying
finally got an appointment with
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
(or CAMSH – Can’t Actually Manage to be Supportive of Humans)

“Did N have problems when he was younger?
Ah, I see,
he had a few issues at nursery –
well, that’s just children for you isn’t it.
When did he attend referrals?
Oh come on, do think now,
can’t you be more specific?
How often and where?
You must know these things,
let’s get it all down straight shall we?
I need to know all the facts.
You seem very muddled about this,
do you have problems with your memory?
It may have been ten years ago Mrs M,
but most people would certainly remember those details.
It’ll be your age, of course.
No, your memory isn’t good compared to others.
I expect it’s your hormones,
you’ll be going through the change by now.
That’ll be all for today,
time’s up.
Take this medicine for him
and come back next week, same time.
Can you remember that?”

Jackie Biggs has had poetry published on websites and in magazines and anthologies, including The Lampeter Review, Innovate arts magazine, Poetry24, I am not a silent poet, threedropsfromacauldron, Poetry and Paint and the Haiku Journal . She has been Honno’s  Poet of the Month. She performs at spoken word events all over west Wales, where she lives.  Her first collection, The Spaces in Between, will be published in September by Pinewood Press. Some of her work appears on her blog:

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