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.