How could other parents understand
she can’t regulate, can’t dress, screams in wind?
Their girls touch down, their modules steady, small footsteps
breaking the moon-sand’s surface, their milestones
cosmic miracles of the ordinary. We long
for their basic okayness, their assumption
that the whole team will walk on the moon,
get to jump, twirl in the applause, treasure the video.
With her characteristic heart and power, the winner of the Tim Thorne Prize for Poetry turns her attention inward in this new poetry collection, creatively illuminating her own hidden autism and that of girls and women, most of whom are misdiagnosed and unsupported in a medical system designed for boys. Every page will surprise and move you.
“Esther Ottaway’s latest poetry book, She Doesn’t Seem Autistic, is as good a primer as you’ll find on the emotional toil that comes with being an autistic female…deeply personal, putting the reader directly into the experience and incorporating a welter of complex emotions, sensations, and perspectives that are powerful….The book is both poetically powerful, evoking a visceral sense of familiarity and empathy, and informative, providing a detailed catalogue of many conditions that can often come with autism.”
MAGDALENA BELL, Compulsive Reader