Autism in Poetry: My Friend Billy

"Friends Out of Time." Dark illustration of two elder gentlemen sharing a laugh.

My Friend Billy

Going on death,
Woke to a frozen world
Where no car crept
A day no singing bird
Was left alive
A day another friend
Sighed his last breath

Polar vortex
Blew thru my trailer
Wrapped windows in blankets
Cranked the oven
Cracked its door
Stale air hung like failure
Sealed the entries to my life
A bunker in war

Settled in for a day alone
Picked up the phone
My only open door…
Wars, rumors of wars
Disasters revealed
Disasters concealed
Across its screen
A dying world’s dreams

I read the news,
A politician lies
Then… “Local Man Dies”…

Wind froze my heart
Another sun sets
That’ll never rise
Another friend
Where I can’t hear his cries

I wish I were that poet
Say, Yeats sweet voice
Or at least L. Cohen
Raised in bitter rejoice
To toast his life of rough edges….

But I see him clear
Tears in his eyes

How he outraced cops
Across Arizona deserts
Or burnt a scumbag dealer
Or how his child came to be born

About a woman he loved
Those kids he missed seeing
Locked in his room
Picking at scabs

One bottle at a time.

He lived for love
He lived for laughs
He left little more
Than a church full of folks
Who missed him for an hour

He was Billy.
And now years later
He won’t leave my autistic mind
And still laffs in my autistic heart
Teaching it to praise.

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