Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category.

A Poem for Dawn

This poem is dedicated to Dawn and parents of unique children everywhere.

I see you
Trying so hard
Doubting yourself

Stressed and tired yet,
Never giving up
One step at a time

Strength you don’t know
giving and kind
I see it

I want to reach out
Take away some pain
Tell you I know, I do

It’s gonna be hard
Loneliness and fear
I see that

Yet I know you’ll get through
I know you can do this
Your love WILL suffice

I know hope
I know love and strength
I know you

Reject what’s not true
Trust in what you know
Believe in yourself

I see you
You are fine
Just as you are


I see you clapping
the fireworks so bright
Your hands are awkward
Normally so light

Then I realize
I’ve never seen you clap
At least not often
Never in a crowd

You used to scream
When I would applaud
Your hands over your ears
Shutting out the sound

The absent reaction
Catches me by surprise
Empathy is so much easier
When looking backwards

You say you liked the bang
that moved the earth
During the finale
When fireworks lit the sky

You have come so far
Yet there is far to go
I know you’ll get there
I have to simply trust

Copyright 2006, Lisa Stroyan


Here I stand
Again at a crossroads
Be firm, push you through
Relax, and let things go

Neither meets my needs
And yours, who knows?
Yet here we are

The bell’s about to ring
Decide quick, go
Or stay and push
Anxiety wells up

Masks of Memory

I make my lists, I wear my mask
I go out in the world
I’ve got it all together
As far as you can tell

I make my little rules
They keep me on my game
What is when and who is who
Is stored right in my purse

“You’re doing great!”
That is what you see
“You’re on top of everything”
If only you really knew

I organize compulsively
But can’t remember where
Aha! I find what I need
But where did those hours go?

Today I burned the eggs
But anyone can do that
Trouble was I didn’t even know
What that popping sound could be?

Sometimes I lose what day it is
Just for a few moments
I reach inside my head
And there’s a blank spot there

I knew it 10 minutes ago
I had known it on “Friday”
And “Saturday” and “Sunday”
But “Monday” slipped away

My mind races around the space
Yesterday is gone as well
Try “Wednesday” on for size
But it just doesn’t fit

Mask askew, I run out the door
Wondering what people will think
And what I’ve left behind
Or why am I this way?

Maybe this is normal
Perhaps everyone does this
But until I really know
I’ll keep the mask in place

Copyright 2007, Lisa Stroyan

Insidious Praise

Insidious Praise

She’s dying inside
Not sure how to cope
The fear bubbles up and over

Will I get through today
Why am I here
What is wrong with me

The anxiety keeps her docile
The adrenaline, awake
No-one sees the pain

“She seems fine”, they say
And in little bits, she is
But there is a cost

“Just try your best!”
Well, what if you already are
And still it’s not enough

She gives it all she’s got
Just to get through
Those around her beam and smile

They don’t really see her
And of course they never ask
They see what they want to see

“You’re doing so much better!”
The words make her cringe
And pull further inside

Praise cuts like a knife,
When it’s counter to what’s real
Widens the isolation gap

Would concern be so hard?
But they have their own fears
So everyone keeps plugging on

It’s Monday again
Where did the weekend go?
She’ll do her best, it’s what she does

Copyright 2007, Lisa Stroyan

Sweet Normalcy

Is this what normal looks like
Sometimes I catch a glimpse
A taste to make me wonder
Bites just big enough to tease

I could get used to this
This feeling, like sugar and caffeine
A burden lifted, anxieties released
This could become addictive

I can’t hold it too tightly
It’ll crumble into dust
And yet I can’t let go
I want it oh so much

Normal tastes so sweet
Then it’s snatched away
Maybe we get a little taste
Sometimes it lasts a while

Expectations set a tone
But then the crash is harder
I forget that I can deal
That this is what’s been dealt

Sometimes we get the blame
Even more, we put it on ourselves
It’s a lonely place to be
When normal comes and goes

Others do not understand
What seems simple and mundane
What they’ve always had
Can taste oh so sweet to me

So I learn to accept
To take things day-to-day
One step, then one more
Release fears that hold me back

I’ll let go of expectations
And be here in the Now
I’ll savor my bites of normal
Little gifts to just enjoy

Copyright 2006, Lisa Stroyan

I see you

I see you
Little bits at a time
Peeking out from a window
That’s foggy and stained
We wipe at the surface
And try to clean from inside

This struggle goes on and on
At least today is better
But yesterday was worse
So how do I tell
What is right, What is true
For you

Your beauty is deep
Your talents strong
I’ll never give up
I’ll always see you
The best in you
However hidden it may be

Copyright 2007, Lisa Stroyan

School Poem

The other children run in laughing
But you, you’re not so sure
Sometimes you come back more alive
But getting there is so hard

“What if a teacher makes a comment
Why should I do things their way
What if someone notices me
What if no-one does at all?”

I held my breath as you got in the car
Without protest, without bribes
Maybe things will go smoothly
Maybe this time

I keep up a running chatter of nothingness
If I stop you ask for more
We both know if you have time to think
The fears come pouring in

The tension rises as we approach
“Don’t turn right,” you say
“There is no school today”
As we park I desperately chatter on

My chest tightens; you huddle in the seat
I keep my face confident and light
Inside my heart is pounding
Will you balk? Can I cope?

For you, late is not an option
Will I get away in time?
The panic rises as we reach the place
Where I’ll leave you on your own

I could just take you home again
I have visions of togetherness and fun
But what message does that send?
And then tomorrow might be worse