‘Normal’ by Naomi Green ©2022 – National Poetry Day 2022
Date: 6th October 2022
A nuisance, rude, irritating, greedy,
attention-seeking, too noisy.
Are these the only words that sum up my son?
Born retarded, backward, feeble-minded, disabled,
weakened by a gene he did not create,
which writes a narrative he cannot understand
nor even read, into the pages of his life.
Slow to learn, an aberration. Is this all people see?
Look beyond, beneath; strip him of your perception –
honed by your own success and abilities –
all the normal of you judging the abnormal of him.
Why is this?
Are you afraid to own him as he is?
To let his narrative displace parts of your own
expectations of what is worthy of your attention?
What if you discover that his path may be
the one you are stumbling along on behind?
What if you make time for his warmth, his laughter, his innocence,
his simplicity; his very being – showing us how to be.
Is being busy, always doing, the measure of our life?
So busy we hold him at arm’s length.
But surely our arms should embrace him.
Which parts of our tapestry might he then enrich?
Embroidering a different story, a fresher one.
After all, the pinnacles of mountains surge out of valleys.
Yes, he disrupts our peace. Yes, the order of our day can be
intercepted by a barrage of infuriating distractions.
But are they?
Perhaps it is us who are disabled from living our life normally.
Which should come first? Success, ‘normality’?
Or the quiet inner whisperings of a yearning, hidden heart,
intricately woven and known,
that beats just a step away from our own?