The word catches me.
Sitting at the top of my dictionary page,
calling me to wonder.
I revel in this new dictionary
after six dry months
without the weight, the smell,
the flip-through-able surprise
of a hard-copy Webster’s Collegiate.

“Every home needs a hard-copy dictionary,”
I told my sister
before I bought her and her husband one
as a first-anniversary gift.
“You will need this in your life together,”
I didn’t say,
but now fits my blessing for them
so they could happen upon,
when searching for something
entirely different,
words like
– for they are living into it.

“the quality of being stainable
with more than one type of dye
and especially with both acidic and basic dyes”

Their hearts, already stained
with neurotypical dye –
curious, interested, social,
are being stained with another hue –
needing order, structure,
seeking touch, sound, light-sensation,
paying more attention to objects than people.

When they first noticed something was different
and the testing began,
my sister resolutely denied the possibility:
“It is not autism.”

Her son, my nephew,
is a basic dye,
requiring more sophistication
to work with successfully,
resulting in vibrancy of color,