Back in April, I was "shadowed" by two young poets who are also writers for Atlanta's teen newspaper, VOX. I posted a fantastic poem by one of those students, Agustin Jimenez, shortly after our night at Java Monkey Speaks open mic. Today, I'm posting a poem by the other student, Mackenzie Rowe. It's honest and inspirational work. You can also read Agustin and Mac's accounting of their job shadow at VOX.
By Mackenzie Rowe
In first grade, I was sent to a chair surrounded by a square of scotch tape,
because I was a "distraction" that could not be handled by my teachers.
I was a distraction that sounded like "ass-burgers."
I was Autistic.
My mom taught me that Autistic people were smarter than anyone else,
but other people said I was "abnormal" or "retarded."
I couldn't be around some kids because of it, as if I had a disease.
I would ask, "Mom, is there something wrong with me?"
And she'd respond, "No, honey. Nothing's wrong with you."
It would take more than scotch tape to hold me down.