Apraxia Monday: Poem by Amalie Flynn, “NO”

By Leslie Lindsay


You know when you put something out into the universe and it comes back to you in a good way? Well, that’s sort of what has happened with these apraxia stories. Meet Amalie Flynn, mother of a son with apraxia (CAS), and also a delightful writer and self-proclaimed, “war wife.” She shares her poem on school violence, the news, and interestingly, apraxia. Read her moving poetry here:

Eighty seconds, my mother says,

Over the telephone.

And she is telling me,

How a girl died, how

She was killed,

Shot point-blank at school

By another student,

With a shotgun, or

How her head was a target.

And I am talking

Over my mother,

Talking loudly now,

Saying over and over

No and I don’t want to know,

Because it is dinner time or because

I have children.

And when I hang up,

The telephone is a ghost,

Dead phantom weight,

Hanging here,

Between the side of my face

And the top of my shoulder blade,

The weight of the girl and what

Happened to her,

And I am turning around now,

To face him,

My four year old son, who is

Sitting at the kitchen table,

Looking at me, and

I am taking his plate away,

Asking him questions,

Saying was it good or are you done,

Waiting for him to answer,

One way or the other,

Even though,

I know,

He cannot say no yet,

Because he has childhood apraxia of speech,

Where most of the words he wants to say,

Cannot come out.

And I am thinking of him,

My son, and

The girl who was shot in the head,

Or the children in Iraq and Syria,

Afghanistan and South Sudan,

All of the places in the world

Where children have no choice

But to live in a world where

Violence happens or

Bombs blow up,

How if they said no,

It would not make a difference,

Or myself,

On the telephone with my mother,

How every time we say

I don’t want to know,

We are like drones,

Hovering in the sky,

Hanging over the heads of children,

Conducting surveillance,

And doing nothing else.


Amalie Flynn Author photoAmalie Flynn is an American writer and the author of two blogs:Wife and War and September Eleventh.Flynn’s Wife and War poetry has appeared in The New York Times at Warand in TIME’S Battleland,has appeared in her blog for The Huffington Post,and has received mention from The New York Times Media Decoder.Her September Eleventh blog has received mention from CNN.In addition, her Wife and War blog has a global readership, with readers from over 90 countries. Amalie Flynn’s first bookWife and War: The Memoiris available on Amazon in Paperback and on Kindle, and on Barnes & Noble for theNook. You can find Amalie Flynn on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest. For more information aboutWife and War: The Memoir, visit the book’s blog and its Facebook page. You can also contact Amalie Flynn byemail.

[this piece was originally published by Amalie Flynn on January 1, 2014 at http://wifeandwar.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/no/ and used here with permission by the author. Author image courtsey of A. Flynn. Poetry image from http://rhsrebellion.com/poetry-the-fullest-moon/]


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