the adventures of a queer parent and his Autistic kiddo (also too many pets)

Good Day, Sir

I wake up extra early this morning, to seek solace from the world’s chaos.
My front porch, my sanctuary.
The squirrels minister their chittered sermons, my communion of coffee and toast, a choir of crickets praising the crisp autumn air, my tithe an offering of peanuts and overripe peaches, scattered.
There’s a catbird mewing in the dogwood and a mourning dove cooing cries for their favored branch that my landlord heedlessly removed yesterday.
I nod to my neighbors and laugh with my mail carrier. My love calls to tesser the space between our homes, our hearts, and welcome the day with me.
I am reminded that this world is filled with goodnesses and joys. I am grateful for this church of my front porch, for connection, for love, for the busy-ness of quiet, for Wednesday.
Good day to you, too.


Wishing for Selfish

I am taking a moment

To be completely


And wish this for myself


I’ve just begun to open up

A bud

Anxious to bloom

Under your care

I feel ready

But there HE is

I do not know him

He is the chance

To take you away

Selfish me

Wishes you all for myself

Until I can be sure

That you can be shared

Selfish selfish me

But I never loved anyobe

Your way

So I am very scared

And selfish

I want to trust

I want to love

I want that from you

I want you to be happy

So I don’t know

But I guess you should go to him

Just please please please

Don’t forget me

Or get too absorbed

And take me for granted

I have played that same game

All too often in the past

And ruined gold

It’ll be so easy for you

To take me for granted

Because already

I want too deeply

Me leaving you would be


To get rid of me now

The only way

Is to break my heart

And I’ve given you that power

I don’t like to be so vulnerable

But you require it of me

I need to be


I could be mean to you

But I will just be quiet



Scared that you will go

Just like everyone else

I want you constant

I hope you are different

I think you are different

Please please please for once

Let me be right

Coming Out Poem 12/1/1993

Thinking about the love in me

I’ve always denied before

Do not allow yourself to even consider that

It could lead to too many


To joy you don’t deserve

Why do I have to ponder now?

I didn’t ever want to

I was planning to just

Fool myself forever

It is all about love

I could… love

I could love… HER

Wherever she might be

But I do not want to

And I want, too


Maybe someday I’ll understand

Maybe someday I’ll let my true joy… out

This is all about love



Keep me sane



Try to understand necessity

Sometimes ideas

do not bind together perfectly

the first time

So I grind the thought

Spice the feeling

Rise the vibe

Knead it as I need it

Think about it

Write about it

Write about it

Write about it

Til I am

Right about it


Until there’s no emotion left

Just a skeleton of memories

easily lost to dust now

He asked me if I saw the beautiful rainbow this morning

But I, of course, had been asleep

Curled up in false contentment for too long

When I awoke the afternoon greeted me not with colors and beauty and promises

Nope. I snored through that.

To be met with wet grayness chilled and then didn’t even have to dry my hair

At least I match something now

The summer of 1991, I was 16 when my great-Grandpa Stallard passed away at age 94. I inherited his car — this amazing, and huge, 1976 Plymouth GranFury with the 360 v8 engine providing more power than I knew what to do with other than drive way too fast on country roads.
Despite being an iconic part of my adolescence, I don’t seem to have many photos of the GranFury. This one, of super proud me and my 11 year old brother, was taken near my Grandma Johnson’s house in Missouri on the day we collected the car from it’s storage in Perry, Kansas. I was so excited to drive it home to North Carolina!
I remember the day months later, when I discovered under the driver’s seat, a cigar box filled with Grandpa’s favorite Kraft caramels. I kept them where they were, where my great-Grandpa had stashed them, but every once in a while when I needed connection or guidance, I would prayerfully eat just one, letting it soften on my tongue, savoring Grandpa’s presence and finding a little moment of peace amongst the chaos of my youth.
So many other memories of the GranFury: loud music in the stereo I installed, singing with friends, driving for miles and miles to escape tensions at home, camping trips, road trips, bumper stickers declaring my passions and causes, stealing road signs, and all the other adolescent shenanigans.
I’m grateful I found this photo today. 💕


Starting over


I renew and regrow

so many times



Sharpening my edges then

Grinding my edges

Molding new shapes

Holding new space

My names evolve

My body evolves

My brain unsolves

My family redefines




I am resistant to change but

I am ever-changing

I’ve changed

passwords and PINs

underpants and hair

bedsheets and laundry soap fragrance

I’ve scrubbed every countertop

Washed your toothpaste from the sink

I’ve cried

I’ve raged

I’ve bought all the things

And ate a lot of ice cream

I’ve snuggled your cat and felt his sadness at your absence

I don’t text you “good morning” because you’re not really even talking about me these days

Now that you’ve got your Freedom Frogs to sing you to sleep instead of lullabies with our baby boy and kisses from the one you called your forever

Turns out we all have patterns

I thought you were special



You were just like all the others

I treated you just like all the others

I repeated mistakes

Relived shame

Caused the same pain

Felt the same insecurities

So maybe it was you

But maybe it was me


I’ve always looked to blame someone else

Never me

It’s never something I said or did

This time is different

I’m facing myself, attempting to own up for my behavior

I’ve been a bad bad boy