She Explained

A young autistic man runs on the pitch during a football match


She was distracted

and he ran on the pitch

in an instinctive,


exhilarating chase

along the right wing.


He out-stripped

the startled player,

gave the ball

an almighty kick

and followed up

with a round of applause

as he watched it

cannon off the post

and career into the stands.


She explained

that he always clapped

when he was proud

of something he’d achieved,

so they all laughed

and agreed

it was an excellent kick,

most of them applauded

and someone shouted,

“Well done, that man!”


He suffered

her gentle admonishment

when he returned

dutifully to her side

and the match

attained normality

as he retreated

back to his world,

with his secret smile

perceptibly wider.



© Shackleton 2023
Views: 2431
critique and comments welcome.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

A heart-warmth of telling – the smile is a marvel – allets

Flag Content