Being Autistic

I am handed a racket
and ushered onto court.
An avid tennis fan,
I am awed by being in the place
champions are made.
But I realise that, although

I’ve grasped most of the rules
by watching tournaments on tv –
in the safety of my armchair –
understanding the finer points
about pace and spin
remains beyond my reach.

I can recognise a lob,
as it sails over the player
and lands on the line,
but I’m rather hazy
on the various permutations
of the volley.

I am au fait
with the phrases of the commentators,
and revel in their repetitious witticisms,
but I’m unable to use
the technical terms in my own conversation.

After countless hours as a spectator
the pattern of play is familiar to me,
but now, stood on court,
I am at a loss
as to how to hit the ball.


Sarah Radice is a visual artist and writer based in Oxfordshire. Avenues in her work include stone carving, bronze casting, writing with a needle and thread, printmaking, and writing poems. She has exhibited online at Modern Art Oxford and Ronapainting Gallery. Website: Instagram: @sarahradiceart