Nenia Arnaiz Dulom
Me. Blind, Deaf, And Mute - Poem by Nenia Arnaiz Dulom
You call me deaf, a hearing-impaired,
You communicate with me through your hands,
My eyes are sharp to your every sign,
I can understand without a sound,
I can hear you talk through your silence.
I can speak aloud without hearing my voice,
Or letting the air out of my lungs,
When anger and resentments are in command,
Blasting the ear drums of my opponent,
In heated argument or confrontational fight.
I do not need a sound,
To know how you feel when you’re down,
Or when you are happy and not in doldrums,
I can hear you laugh or cry with my eyes,
Through your furrowed forehead or line in your face.
You know I can feel all your emotions,
I am nothing different than any other person,
I am only deaf not to hear you speak,
Nor hear your loud noise
When your control is weak.
I can hear you sing,
I can hear the rain,
I can hear the birds’ chirping,
I can hear the noise of my surrounding,
Even the farthest and slightest sound of lightning.
But you know not with my faulty ears,
Unless you won’t call me a deaf,
It’s the receiver and transmitter of my heart that perceive,
Whatever you convey and express through your lips,
So without doubt I mustn’t be rendered as inoperative.
You refer to me as mute,
A silent companion to comprehend,
My verbal message are not heard,
Nor my vocal voice to restrain,
To what is tolerable manner of speaking.
I am equal to quietness,
A deafening peace and silence,
I cannot counter your talking prowess,
But I can compete with you to persist,
When speechless moment is in need.
I want to sing but I can’t,
I want to shout and scream to insist,
I want my message to be heard,
In gatherings of people who can speak,
To share my ideas and intellect.
I know how to declaim or recite a poem,
I know how to follow a minus one
Or a karaoke machine,
I know how to speak confidently and with feelings,
The problem is I just can’t,
I have a voice that is inaudible to ears.
You describe me as blind,
Someone who do not see the light or sunshine,
Someone who do not need the night,
To see the evening or wait for twilight,
I am always in the dark no matter what.
You lead and guide me by my hand,
And secure my unsure steps with caution,
But it’s my faithful stick that control my pace,
It shows me around town like my chum,
It never begs me to rest or utter a protest.
But I feel safer with you than my staff,
Even if it is too loyal to be with,
Or the most considerate and understanding friend,
It can never replace the company of a human being,
A traveling companion to trust and hang on.
You are careful not to let me trip up,
Otherwise I would stumble and crash,
Or be run into by a car so fast,
Or a rushing someone or a mass,
Which is hard to detect when my buddy is just a rod.
You have feelings my stick has none,
You can incessantly talk to me like a radio on,
Or laugh with me in hilarity and fun,
We can go bouncing and skipping around,
Or jump over the fence hand in hand.
We can do many crazy things,
Like dancing and singing in the rain,
We can make a difference even if I’m blind,
Like we can be happy even if my world is dim,
You can use your laughter to paint,
Color my world from sad to happy and alive.
(Philippines, May 28,2011)
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