Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Come to the Flashing Lights, Avonte

by April Salzano

I am chanting, along with his mother’s
recorded voice that calls, broadcast
into the air from a mobile command truck,
her desperation hidden, her fear, only
partially captured so he will not run
if he hears it.
It’s Mom, I am saying it with her.
Because he has been gone for 13 days.
Because he is autistic.
Because so is my son.
Because if Avonte comes to the flashing lights,
this family will no longer have to wonder
who is hurting him in ways even at 14 he cannot
understand. They will not face what I would
like to call the unfathomable, but fellow warriors
know better. It is the first and worst thought
on our minds, but it is always fathomable, always
lurking in the foreground, blocking what should be
moments of peace needed on a level
I will not try to explain
because my sisters understand.
Just as they understand
if Avonte comes home, I too can stop crying.
They will forgive my selfish tears
because they know
Avonte’s coming home
means it is possible for my son
to be okay if only our second worst fear comes true.

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