Birdlegs

 

I was just four when the polio came

A matter of having bad luck

It damaged the nerves in my growing young frame

The nerves in my legs were just fucked

 

Muscles can’t grow and get big without nerves

I grew, but not like a weed

My legs are so skinny they look like a bird’s

…but they’ve met my minimum needs

 

There have been times I was really perturbed

’cause I looked so different from them

Those who were soft in their comfy suburbs

Who didn’t want to be “him”

 

It didn’t really bother me much

I knew that they didn’t matter

I had more than my brace and my crutch

My brain had been left unfettered.

 

My education was second to none

With what I had for my tools

I learned how to have my own kind of fun

From books, and even from school

 

I married, took jobs, and traveled the globe

Had two fine children to boot

Life has been fine ’cause I made it be so

My birdlegs have carried me through

 

I’ve climbed mountains and reached the top

Made love to beautiful women

The joy that I’ve known will never be stopped

because it comes from within

 

“Disability” is a state of mind

A trap that can suck you in

But if you look deeper, you’re likely to find

It’s a place to begin again.

***

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