When Meagan Sang for the Autistic Kids by Chris O’Keeffe

A kid that age only knows 1000 words…
how can they be the wrong the words?

One boy heard a nightmare, one girl
heard a penguin circus, I heard
something like hope, whatever it is
that presses you against your seat.

Conducting with pretzel rods and some
four year old mutters “fuck you” once
in a while.

This one’s getting stronger and his
mom older, her greying frizz straining
to subdue his adolescent piston strength.

Standing against cages of hands
always pulling you down, you just
want to move through the sounds
but last time you moved toward the dog
or through the window or toward the stove.

We are clapping with fingertips on palms.

Chris O'Keeffe
Although he grew up in the woods of Connecticut, Chris O’Keeffe is a poet of the city. He writes about car horns and commuter rails. He likes bars and brunch and those bodega windows that you can buy newspapers through. His poems are often interested in sound and technology. He has previously lived in both Cambridge, MA and Astoria, Queens, and maintains spiritual outposts in both. A copywriter by day and an obscure musician by necessity, Chris and his wife, Angela, live in Salem, MA with two dogs, four bikes and a bucket of usable Wiffle Balls. He was awarded the Marcia Keach Prize in Poetry from UMass Boston in 2009.

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