POEM for those left standing...
'I am a person stuck with unrequested labels, Northern, female
Short-sighted, red-haired, maladroit
I worked for others, as a student, parent, activist, poet
Some labels I aspired to: Quaker, world traveller, true artist, cook
And others came from cruel authority,
Dispensed regardless…’too disabled’... to be me
That closed some minor official’s little book
Upon my whole life’s purpose…
But I live for human rights and human worth
I did not earn or deserve their scornful look.
I am a human being
I am real.
And you can watch me for this hour
To find out how I feel...
Those officials cursed me with the label of disability/impairment/deficit/
Of being one of ‘them’, not one of ‘us’.
But I am human, I am real.
I am a person who can feel.
I will defeat their bureaucratizing zeal.
Now look into the utter folly of their fear.
It is every person’s potential power that I reveal
By simply standing here.