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Marching to the Drum of Self-Love: A Poem About Disability

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Dear all the limbs
that don’t listen
all the steps and mountains we can’t climb
the wind will carry us to destiny.
Some metal and Velcro may aid us through
the tomorrows keeping us a hoist the cargo ship.
But it’s the honeybees buzzing against your chest
the sun that rises from the dance of your lips
the rainbows that glow through every blink
that make every tomorrow brighter than the
white lights in the halls of hospital walls.
The world will continue to turn
and even cave in on you
But you bend and not break
because they never tell us that:
our hearts are just as elastic as the rubber bands,
all the scalpels and cuts they make in white coats
can’t fix us but perfection isn’t fixed, it is love and endless
Tell all the kids that speak of the cost…
their Jordan’s and Balenciaga’s
aren’t worth more than every pair of AFOs
and every push through hospital double doors
for they know not what love paid for us.
Tell the “never ‘s” maybe so
because you’ll prove them wrong
and if even not you’ll prove you’re strong.
Dear every eye that can’t see
or brain that’s not as fast at computing
and every skin that’s marked with scar
You are ours a proof of beauty’s permanence.
So tell every walker that takes up space
every wheelchair that moves too slow
Every computerized device that speaks for us
that we aren’t defined by your limit
and every sky has a stratosphere
a moon just above the white clouds.
If you see us as broken you are seeing
us a cratered moon, a dark sky for the
stars — light of us to glisten through;
we have nothing to prove to you.
Wear your scars and be all that you are
Bend every bar because your heart
is just as elastic as the rubber bands
that hold their money.
Blow out all the candles — no more
no more wishes for a new body
let your own light glow
and everywhere you go
it shall take a swift flight.

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Photo provided by contributor.

Originally published: January 3, 2018
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