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Jumbled Words: A Poem About Central Auditory Processing Disorder

My friend smiles.
I smile back.
My friend opens their mouth,
the words
come soaring out.

I ready my ears
to catch them.


a passing car smudged the sentence.

My friend laughs.
I laugh too.
Even though
I don’t know what were laughing about.

My friend speaks more.
Maybe I’ll catch the next batch.

My ears squint.
I’m ready…


the wind lifts the letters in the air
and swirls them around,
they settle as a disorganized mesh.

I try to untangle the pieces
but then I feel my friend
staring at me

So I nod.

This convinces my friend that I’m listening and she continues.

I mean, I really am listening.
My brain is just so filled with
the rumbling cars,
the twittering birds,
the howling wind,
the yapping dogs,
the boisterous people,
the rattling of the leaves upon the sidewalk.

It’s too much of everything all at once.

I need to catch my friend’s words this time.
Let me catch something.

I raise my ears

I seize the words triumphantly!
I’m ecstatic!

I open my mind to look at the words,
some start to

Now they are a jumbled word pile on the floor
with all the other previous lost sentences.

I frantically clench my mind tight.
I manage to nab a few before I lose them.

Only four words.
Will this be enough?
I need time to solve the puzzle
but I notice the silence.

I glance up
My friend is
Looking at me expectantly.

I ran out of time.

So I utter…

“Aw man. That’s something.”

“I asked you a question,” they say.


I was caught.
My head hangs down in shame
the words and letters rustle at my feet
instead of my head
where they’re suppose to be.

I look up and admit
I missed everything they said.

My friend smiles,
takes my hand,
and offers these words
which I thankfully intercept this time.

“Let’s so somewhere more quiet.”
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Submitted on April 22, 2021

1:40 min read

Jaime K. Pfisterer

Jaime is a reference librarian and an artist. She wanted to share her experience with Central Auditory Processing Disorder with other people so others with her learning disability will feel heard. more…

All Jaime K. Pfisterer poems | Jaime K. Pfisterer Books

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    "Jumbled Words: A Poem About Central Auditory Processing Disorder" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 29 Jul 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/98010/jumbled-words:-a-poem-about-central-auditory-processing-disorder>.

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