Abilities - Poem by Frank Bana
I sat next to a blind young man
His hands upon a coffee cup and cane
The train lurched through the morning air
Sunlight danced across his face
No newspaper at his side
No handheld device, well-dressed
Like the businessmen. What thoughts,
Assumptions floated in his mind?
To what was he resigned?
Sitting arm-to-arm, I visualised
How the world is built around
Designs made by the powerful
With all their senses in command
Their corridors, well-sized machines
To ease and entertain.
I wondered how a one-handed man
Or a woman with a broken arm
Could boot up the computer
With the three requisite keys
Of Alt, Control, Delete, must she
Synchronise her good hand with her feet?
I should give thanks, obviously
And take a deep, refreshing drink
Of my younger brother's perspective:
A semi-abled architect
Ejected from a cinema
For lying in the centre aisle
Unable to sit upright in his seat.
The upright world, visual empire
Drown out the silence, rituals
That patronise the veterans
Of Wars of Disability.
He yawns and drains the coffee cup
I'm certain he can read
Every word I'm writing through
His super-sensory evolved
Powers of receptivity.
Now I am yawning too. Does he disapprove?
I dare not eat my bagel, sure
He knows my every move.
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