To My Autistic Son Alfred

by Kevin Alfred Strom (composed while forcibly separated from my family and imprisoned by the U.S. government on false charges; because of his disability, Alfred is incapable of understanding why his Daddy did not see him for almost two years)

WHERE DID YOU come from, lost soul child?
Where oh where, my darling —
Dark hair so soft, brown eyes so mild,
Playmate and friend of the starling.

It must have been a place where the salt sea cuts the shore
Where the sharp-voiced gull and the tern and eagle soar;
For these are some things that you’ve loved well on Earth —
It must be in such a place that the angels gave you birth.

It must have been a place where tractors till and never rest
Where railroad trains run, all day from east and west;
For these are some things that have given you joy,
My wonderful, my beautiful, my faraway boy.

Where are you running, Alfred Strom?
Where oh where, my handsome?
One foot in this world and the rest quite gone
And no one can pay the ransom.

Maybe to a place where Daddy’s arms are open wide
Even though that running will take ten thousand miles.
You’ll get there, don’t you worry, I’ll run with you my son;
A better place is waiting, a place of freedom and of fun —
A place where I will dance with you all day and half the night,
A place we’ll sing together and drive away your fright,
Where all your walls and mazes will crack and finally fall
Where the word “autistic” is not a word at all.