Old Made New

I doubt you’ll recognize this, but the title and the basic idea is from something I wrote a couple of years ago.  I’ve completely reworked it (it was prose, before) into a poem.  My assignment for my poetry class this week is to write something with a “complex tone.”  I hope this qualifies.



I love church, but it’s a lot of focusing.

So, I bring a bracelet with beads in my hands.

I rhythmically spin the beads to the pace of the sermon.

There is faith, hidden in my fingers.


I have autism,

So I can’t have empathy.

That’s what the “experts” say.

I say, why am I not the expert?

I live it.

My very human heart is hurting,


Fighting with you.

There is compassion, hidden in my fingers.



Try explaining how a girl who never shuts up

Can have a communication disorder.

What comes out might be right,

Or it might be anything but what I want to say.

Regardless, there are words, hidden in my fingers.



Sensory experiences can overwhelm

My ability to appear present.

The funny thing is that I am wholly present–

In the sensory experience,

I may look unaware, but looks deceive,

Because there is connection, intelligence, hidden in my fingers.


My face is crying. 

Am I sad?

I’m pounding my forehead with my fist.

Does my head hurt?

If I don’t have a keyboard,

How can I know?

There is ability, hidden in my fingers.


Though my voice

Does not have the words

To strike up a conversation,

My fingers hide friendship.

Though my ears

Do not hear,

So that I can make sense of the world,

My fingers listen so that I can understand.

Though my eyes dart back and forth

Rarely pausing to meet yours,

My fingers can see within,

And know a person’s heart.

Though I might never

Ask you how you’re doing today,

If you type to me,

My fingers will join you

In both the good and the bad.

Though you would not expect,

From such a quiet girl,

The hope and dreams

To change the world

I will do just that,

From behind my keyboard,

With my fingers.


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