Handicapped

She stepped out of her wheelchair

into someone else’s strength.

Wrenching sinew and bones,

She stepped once then twice

to her empty bed where she will pray

to her covers, where a mythical god

will never answer, nevertheless, she prays.

In time her twisted existence unwinds.

“Praised be.” She cries unclearly.

Her strength the strength of others

yet her knotted fists say otherwise.

Incoherency as defined

in shrill cawings, clotted throatings,

each twitching  articulates meaning.

They are signs of life

only she understands

if understanding is needed.

She states the human statement

in pullings and draggings

happening behind closed doors.

There is courage in her bathroom,

at the kitchen table where food,

yes there is courage even in moving

her mouth, tongue, teeth, spoon.

Motion the unbending force

which greets her with every weave of survival.

Each day a battle, we know battle.

We do not know her battle where guns are missing.

We say handicapped, she says something

few can understand, few can feel.

Courage you see lies somewhere in her being,

a camel in a cave, a camel unwatered,

unfed for unnumbered lifetimes.

We say handicapped.

She says everything.