The Ground vs. The Sky


United States
43° 31' 16.2984" N, 89° 30' 43.2288" W
United States
43° 31' 16.2984" N, 89° 30' 43.2288" W

It looks like he has his own world.

I like to think he dances with the things he must see.

He bounces constantly, he’s like a small bird

Stuck on the ground.

He draws through the air and tells us stories.

Stories that aren’t his own, but he knows every line.

His world is most definitely not mine.


I want to go there sometimes,

I want to come down from the sky,

Spend some time with him on the ground.

But I’m stuck here.

I’m stuck screaming and shouting,

Trying to make him hear me.

To understand me.


He seems so far away.

I want him to understand how my world works.

I want him to have it easy.

We fly in a formation he can’t seem to grasp.

How can he, really?

He’s never even felt the wind beneath his wings.


He asks me questions sometimes,

“Why do people make fun of me?”

“Why don’t I have friends like you do?”

“Why doesn’t she like me?”


It hurts.

He understands my world

Yet he can’t get up here.


Each time he asks me these questions

I want to pluck out my feathers and leave the sky.

I want to sit with him and make him the happiest boy in HIS world

Because he’s teaching me that we’ve got it all wrong.


All the attempts to get him into the sky aren’t working

So why force him?

Why treat him like he has a disease that needs a cure?

I love him just the way he is, and other people should too.


We need to let him do the talking,

We need to do some listening of our own.

He should have what we all take for granted, but he doesn’t

Because the way he communicates takes his voice away from him,

Especially when we keep ourselves so far away, up in that freaking sky.

Instead, we all need to come to the ground.

I want him to speak for himself,

In those stories that are not his own

Because he has a right to be heard.



This is a poem I wrote about my experience as a sibling of a child of Autism and how I view the relationship between my brother and myself.

I am not claiming to know what it is like to actually have Autism and this is not an all-covering statement about every family with a child with Autism. Every person is different, and that includes all of the people on the spectrum. 

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