LUCIUS FALKLAND is the nom-de-plume of a writer and academic from London

The wounded healer

The job description was always very clear:

You have autistic breakdowns, lose control.

Uncertain futures, a general sense of fear,

Takes hold of you and cuts into your soul,

So you palpitate and snap and use a word

That might cut me, but who cares? I’m not you. 

I’m part of unpredictable, absurd.

It comes upon you; I notice every clue.

My job is to absorb it like some spring

Mounted building on a fault line in Peru.

Sometimes you shun me, other times you cling

To me for comfort and I accept that it’s just “you.”

When I’ve got you back to calm and you say “Sorry,”

I feel closer to you then than I can show.

To be avalanched in anger, angst and worry;

I see the “me” of nineteen years ago:

The “me” at the age that you are now

Rejection-fear so strong I dare not send

My writing into journals, scared of how

I would take it. Would I contemplate the end?

Fear of talking about money. If things changed,

I would shout it like some primal, tribal chant,

Infantile and manically deranged:

“I can’t do this, I can’t do this; I just can’t!”

Now, when I hear those words from you,  

I know that only I can understand

The sensations, fear of chaos, fear of new,

That traps you like a foal in mud and sand.

Is our age gap merely a statistic?

Or must love on the spectrum so ensue?

To be soul mates you both must be autistic,

But the young girl will need guiding through

The shattering emotions that transfix her,

While the man, a wounded-healer, like a priest,

Controls his now, and age is an elixir

That mellows; the most frightening pains have ceased.

The job description wasn’t clergyman, but clear:

You have autistic breakdowns, lose control . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *