James is finishing his second year as part of the Mclean Homeschool Group. They do a year end pageant featuring essays, poetry, music and such. James was asked by his teacher to write a poem for the pageant that would express the feelings he wrote about in his letter to Rick Riordan, author of the Lightning Thief. That letter explains what it meant to James to find his first real friend in the homeschool group. James didn’t write just one poem, he wrote four! Mrs. Evans selected these two to be read out loud at the pageant.


James, a boy trapped inside,

Autism barring the door to freedom.

A trickle of light streams through the lock,

Blinding against the darkness.

One year.

Eyes adjust, and crave more rays of hope.

The lock becomes brittle, but still fastened.

Then the brightest illumination strikes the still dull eyes.

One year.

Eyes adjust to the increasing demands.

Still trapped, but the door ajar.

Objects outside this prison come into focus.

One year.

The chains disintegrate under the force of the sun.

The door springs open,

The lock shatters as it meets the ground.

Autism pales against the light of heaven.



Fifteen years without true peers.

Apprehensive, afraid, and forlorn.

An autistic teen with a newfound voice,

A teacher unaware but willing to try,

An interested rising senior — a beacon of hope.

These three meet and all forever change.

One year elapses without regrets.

The senior embarks for college,

New students enroll in the class,

Autism concealed within the individual.

This second year, the student once segregated,

Sits amidst his peers, engages with friends,

And understands the meaning of classmates.

I am different, just like my peers.