Friday, April 1, 2016

Poem: From a Lesser Being (Lioness DeWinter)

From a Lesser Being
Lioness DeWinter, 2014

(Dedicated to my fellow beings with visible--and invisible--disabilities. I hear you and I love you.)

I am lucky to have made it this far.
They can detect us in the womb now, and dispose of us for convenience.
We are the silent, the overlooked.
Children are taught not to stare at us, and adults rarely look us in the eye.
We are INVISIBLE.

We put on a cheerful face for the masses.
"You're so inspirational!" they cry. "So strong!"
Funny...
I don't feel strong.

When I fall, the humiliation is unbearable.
The laughter is worse.
"Ree-bo!" "Retard!" "Quasi!"
When I can stand again, or I'm safely back in my chair,
I can barely raise my head. 

I go into a shopping center, and I stop at the door.
My social anxiety is as ice, freezing me in my tracks.
You give me a hard shove through the door and scold me, knocking me off my feet,
Making the nightmare laughter begin. It beats me all over like bat's wings.
I cannot even turn to you; you're another angry face in the crowd.
The hatred cuts me like razors.
You will never understand.

And so...

I spend most of my time alone.
I am a slave of my body, of my illness.
I am not allowed to go out into the world with you.
"It's too inconvenient," you say, or:
"It takes you too long to get ready," or:
"You wouldn't be comfortable," or:
"You'll get too tired."
...If you were honest, you would say:
"You make me uncomfortable. People stare at you, and I'm ashamed."

The world never sees ME.
The world only sees my illness.
They think that I'm less than them, lower than a beast.
I affirm everything that they think is right about themselves.
They never see a beautiful being of God...they see an abomination which should be put to death.

We live trampled, humiliated, in cages with four walls, draperies and ramps.
We wait patiently for our day to come, for our turn to see the world.
We have hearts and feelings and beautifully active minds!
We would love to come with you!
But you are too busy.
When we try to reason with you, you shut us down.
You threaten to put us away.
We are an inconvenience.

"The greatest service that you could ever do for this family is to die," they say...

I disagree.

The greatest revenge is that I LIVE.

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