Conventionally Confined

This is a poem I wrote inspired by the book Wonder. It's about how physically disabled people are judged and defined as abnormal by society, and learning to accept difference. (For Project Remix Competition)

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1. Conventionally Confined

Don't you just love how

society defines you?

How society is purely built on able-bodied

typically beautiful perfect

clones.

How the "disabled" are labelled

Tagged with their biological faults like

cows

Tagged, numbered, counted

They always say we should "be grateful for what we do have" but how can we when

24/7 we are surrounded by

Society’s advertisements of everything we don’t?

 

Don't you just adore how it's

Us

And

Them?

Us: abnormalities extracted for our shining personalities and persevering, determined, unbroken nature with them looking down on

Us

And

Them.

If you have two legs and walk on the moon it's

"Man Makes History"

If I have one leg and walk on the moon it's

"Handicapped Breaks Boundary"

But my unique genetic coding isn't wrong.

The same way your ears are pointy

Mine just can't

Hear you spitting disgust at

Me, myself and

I have difficulty with my

Speech can change a nation but it's still

Us

And

Them.

 

Don't you just admire how

For some strange reason our 'problems' are down to faulty genes

But I can't help it if God made me like this

What would acceptance look like if

We all looked alike?

If we were all the same?

You want to express yourself through clothes

But by being who you are

Is that not expressive enough?

 

Isn't it great how

People think that

Just because I'm missing a limb

My only dream is to have one

Yes I sometimes wish for what I don't have

Or even wish to lose what I have too much of

But my dreams can be your dreams too

I have no left arm

My dream is to travel the world

I have a 6th finger

My dream is to be an astronaut

I have no sight

My dream is to be an artist

An artist?! "How will you see the art?" they say

That’s my secret weapon see

I don't.

But that's okay.

I don't need to.

But what is not okay is that

I can't use public transport okay

Because it’s made for those with sight.

I have no sense of sound

My dream is to be a concert pianist

Yes, I can't hear

And that's okay.

But what's not okay is that

I am laughed at

For having to look at you to read your lips.

 

You gasp at my face because my nose isn't right

So why can't

I gasp at your face because your eyes aren't quite white

I am me and you are you

So let it drop, let me be

who I am and if it's a problem to you

Then feel free to take it up with my 47th chromosome

Yes, that's right I have one more than you

But does that mean I'm not a human too?

Of course it must! Because otherwise I'd be

"Normal"

What does 'normal' look like though?

Is it white or black?

Tall or short?

Fat or thin?

If you're hearing

white,

tall,

thin

then you're mixing it up with

Society is what makes you look at me funny right?

Because I am nothing close to the woman on the side of the bus

The 'normal' ship came and went before the doctors told my mum

"Ma'am, there’s this problem with your child."

But I know one thing for sure you see

The one thing I can't really explain

The speech that could change the world is hard

But one thing my mum always says:

 

No, it's not that I am

Disabled

Abnormal

Handicapped

A problem

A biological fault

Not what society wants me to be

Not that I am a mistake

An issue

An accident

A rare case

Different

Funny-looking

Not even strange

Just that I am

 

Perfect.

As are you.

As is everyone.

 

Don't you just hate how no one gets that?

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