Saturday, November 9, 2013

When I see a wheelchair
I see freedom
from structuring my days
around the uncertainty of how far
I can walk
without collapsing in pain,
how long
I can stand in line
before the slivers in my hips
leave me crumpled
at the feet of people
who if they see me
think me lazy,
how late I can stay
in the room
and still get myself
back to home, or away
under my own steam.

But I also see that
you wouldn't want me
in your business,
in your homes and houses
of worship (can't I sing lochi dodi too?)
unless I take the entrance
past the dumpster and the kitchen
lingering their scents to remind
my neighbors with dirty hands my difference,
unless carried or crawling up stairs
dragging it behind me to enter
temples of our protected pasts,
and have visited upon me
that which I cannot visit upon you.

So the chair is kept
in my mother's barn
for the more dire need
and I hobbled by limiting dreams
the shape of sweeping steps
let my shoulders ache
my way up the steps by cane-
at least with it, I can go farther
than my front door.

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