A beautiful poem about me.

If you like it e-mail Jim.

Gregors Poem

If you can see him
he is
all trunk.

Not
2 legs missing
all fingers
no thumbs,
He is not
wrists protruding from
elbowless arms -
a wheelchair of black leather
and dirty chrome.

No, if you can see him
he is
a bit unkempt.
And he is
a prophet.
And he is an
obnoxious,
unapologetic,
revolutionary
in an un-Jesuslike way) -
less black than Martin,
less handsome than Che,
less humble than Mahatma,
less eloquent than Marcos
but nonetheless

standing tall
(on those two feet he doesn’t have)
he is calling until his voice is hoarse.
He calls them
“My People”,
this silent holocaust.

My People: the various in body, diverse in mind -
all the uncommon forms of humankind

“My People “ he says
“are shut away in institutions: hospitals , psychiatric wards."
“My People are shut out of institutions, ,science, the media, law."
“My People” he says
“ are the poorest, the worst educated, the most oppressed”
and they are being killed daily – by pre natal screening , drugs and
neglect.”
And if you could see him
If you weren’t wondering where to look, anxious that he could be
“fixed “
If you were’t fidgeting embarrassed , wishing he didn’t exist.
If you could see him,
overflowing with pain,
you would see brown eyes widen, wetten , wince
and close again.

“My People” he says
“are defined daily by their defects,
by the condescension of strangers
and the exclusion of steps,
of doorways, of buses, of the internet.
My People are boxed
into a medical model
of Disease and Cure,
deformity, mutation
and “poor little johnny “
and bleeding hearts"

he starts to form a fist.
"
My People are being redefined as unwanted genes
on kinky chromosomes, fair game to be
edited out before birth.
I am an excuse for abortion.
I am the argument for euthanasia.
I am a societal burden , a monster
or worse.."

He halts, draw breath.

"Every day," he explains, "I am dealing with my own death

and that of My People:
continuosly redefined as not people,
dismembered from society
united by their diversity."

And if you could see him
Teasing , parenting or swinging himself through a window on his
strong arm,
Up all night in the bar,dissecting ethics, full of beery charm
If you can see him…

Ralph Ellison taught us that the black man is invisible in a society
that doesn’t want him there.
Well, he’s not half as invisible as a man in a wheelchair.

“My people are the ultimate physical bulwark
against conformity
And a creeping norm
that requires first two legs, then perfect skin,
A compliant mind, sculpted breasts, square chin
My people give humanity back its biodiversity
And you laugh at that notion
because you cannot see
The subtlety of the blind,
the strength of the dismembered
The cultures of the deaf ,
The fine elegance and beauty in the forms

Of My People, we
Who are after all just people
If only you weren’t so dis-able
To see.

Jim Thomas
poet@jimsnail.org
http://jimsnail.blogspot.com/