Maestro – A Poem


Introduction: This was written while listening to Lindsey Stirling’s “Phantom of the Opera Medley” and while processing what verbal communication feels like for me, as an individual on the Autism Spectrum when I am feeling overwhelmed and cannot communicate.

Molding my mind
Like frozen clay-
That will not bend
This or that way
Stuck and stubborn
A tug of war of
Tangled words –
My blue companion,
My maestro &
Master of confusion
Composing – ribbons
of regrets, tightly
Binding my wits,
My own patience is
Wearing so thin
I cannot bear
my own reflection
Or expectations that
That you have written
Over and over again
So painstakingly
In a language that
I cannot understand.

Gretchen Leary 2013

About Gretchen McIntire (formerly Leary)

I am 34 years old, I live in the Raleigh area, and I am writing from the perspective of an individual with Asperger's Syndrome.
This entry was posted in ASD, Aspergers, Autism, Music, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Maestro – A Poem

  1. Dale Favier says:

    “…expectations that
    That you have written
    Over and over again
    So painstakingly
    In a language that
    i cannot understand.”

    Oh yes, exactly.

  2. Worded so beautifully, even through difficulty.

  3. brian miller says:

    you capture that feeling well…the hard clay up front…so hard to work and the frustration around communication as well…and the expectations there in the end…been in a few of those tough spots with kids i worked with…

  4. Other Mary says:

    Well you certainly communicated wonderfully well in these verses. Really well done. I wonder if you have read a book called “Look Me in the Eye” by John Robinson who has Aspergers.

  5. Aw ‘composing – ribbons / of regret’ ~ fab writing Gretchen πŸ™‚

  6. Mary says:

    I think you have captured your experience very well here, Gretchen. And I find myself wondering if it is easier for you to communicate in writing (most of the time) than verbally.

    • Hi there! Absolutely, at times I can communicate much better in writing. It depends because I tend to misperceive other people’s intentions even online (often if I feel vulnerable). It depends on the person I guess. There are times where my verbal skills are suddenly strong when I am passionate but I tend to overdo it and go on and on.

      • Mary says:

        Thanks for your response, Gretchen. I think I mentioned the 4th grade student I had who had Aspergers. HE could write fiction, non-fiction, and poetry MUCH better than most students…..and had knowledge of various specialized subjects that amazed me. However, he had a hard time carrying on a conversation. And socially. When the class went on field trips, I was generally his seat mate on the bus.

      • I usually ate my lunch in the guidance counsellors office (and with good reason) lol. Kids are brutal. I have some odd interests: Nalgene bottles for example because of all of the colors and combinations and then there is Latin and all of the declensions (wont get started on that lol) and there are more but some are things others can relate to so sometimes it works out

  7. Amazing write ~ I specially like the ending, not understanding the language brought forth my high and maybe unrealistic expectations ~

  8. kelly says:

    Oh, this tugs at my heart, I can feel your pain and your frustration… Very well written!

  9. Renee Espriu says:

    I love this Gretchen and am so glad to have found you visiting my site. Now I can come and visit you and read all of your wonderful, sensitive words.

  10. Kelvin S.M. says:

    …how deeply inspired Gretchen… but sad way to end…


  11. Ruth says:

    compellingly written, and especially

    “expectations that
    That you have written
    Over and over again
    So painstakingly
    In a language that
    I cannot understand”

    – how often I have felt that way too…

  12. claudia says:

    Or expectations that
    That you have written
    Over and over again
    So painstakingly
    In a language that
    I cannot understand….your really give us some insight into the deeper levels of autism and make us understand it a bit better…

    • Thanks Claudia. I think people think that just because I can speak that I fully know what I am doing socially. I second guess everything I say and everything I hear if I’m not with someone I know very very well. Every conversation is like a new weird puzzle. It can be incredibly frustrating and I always have this fear that people will eventually put their hands up and say “I give up. You’ll never get it” and although no one has said those words in particular, its happened one too many times.

  13. Poet Laundry says:

    I can feel your frustration in this. You definitely communicated well here ‘Like frozen clay’ seems an impossible feeling! Love how you put this all into poetry.

  14. heidi says:

    My own patience is
    Wearing so thin
    I cannot bear
    my own reflection
    Or expectations that
    That you have written
    Over and over again
    So painstakingly
    In a language that
    I cannot understand.


  15. 1emeraldcity says:

    You have found power in your poetry…you certainly do communicate your frustration beautifully here. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  16. Sabio Lantz says:

    Nicely penned — incredibly creative.
    Ya know, I think there challenges for the neurotypicals of censoring and worry from the mind-readings of other feelings that they can’t stop. Perhaps there are hidden blessings about autism you could share too. It ain’t all roses under the bell curve! πŸ™‚

  17. Tony says:

    Gretchen, I really enjoy your writing because of the insight you give into a world I have no direct experience of. I know a little of the struggles autism brings because I’ve seen it in others and haven’t had the first clue how/if I can be helpful.

  18. Oh, this has such a painful beauty and pulsing poignancy to it. Why is it every time I read something of yours I feel almost driven to give you a hug? So well done.

  19. strong use of the reflection and the language metaphors/imagery here, definitely enjoyed the piece. Thanks

  20. zongrik says:

    at one point or another, everyone communicates in a language others cannot understand
    Initiated Kiss

  21. lucychili says:

    it is strange to be so eloquent and challenged at the same time. i wonder if one helps the other.

  22. Thank-you Andrea! That means a lot to know someone out there is seeing the bigger picture. My goal of my blog is not only as a release but to help others understand. πŸ™‚

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