DeAnna Esquilin

Rookie (5/7/70 / Bridgeport, CT.)

To The Public: A Note On My Brother From His Sister Who Loves Him… - Poem by DeAnna Esquilin

The able bodied never know what it means to be shipwrecked in a bustling metropolis.

We do not meet the staircase as mountains
Or know the true sacrifice of the “long way” by force
Your fridge a barricade
The sidewalk a cliff
Your Wheelchair your life line

To be physically challenged is to be the snail in a race with greyhounds.

We do not experience
The undeserved leers of interlopers
Sometimes offending
Frequently curious

“Tisk” “Tisking” in backward glances of subtle egotism
(As if you paid for your able body off the rack at Macy’s)

To be physically challenged often means:
To have strangers lay pity at your feet
To be condescended to
To be hurried
To look away and be shuddered at.

How fortunate to be you?

Or sometimes the assaults come on deeper scales

The words “bravery” and “courage”
Are used to describe your extistence
Not your character or deeds.
Such paltry lipservice.
Like ash in the mouths of drones!
(Even from family)
Lying armies of vapid bees
Forever buzzing but saying NOTHING.

At nearly 40 he visits me in my dreams the day of our Mother’s wake.
A twig holding back a tsunami
My brother howled tears
So wretched
So acute
With such sincere surrender to despair's darkness,
To hear it, gives way to moments
posssed by the the terminus of her death.
That I cannot consider it
without doom nesting in me for days.

That was the first time I saw him.

And it occurs to me,
Only now in adulthood
How well he economizes pain
How negotiated his complexity.
How seemingly effortless he relates to others
Despite such poignant & profound alienation

So if you’re asked to be patient
Do so.
He has been patient a lifetime longer than you
If you extend your hand to assist
Extend it as his equal
Because you could never be sure
Which of you is the inferior

Spare him your pity
Endear that to people who “choose” an existence of helplessness
His charity and yours mean very different things

The bow of his legs
The deformity of his limbs
His inability for speech
Are but limits of his body
Not his mind
Not his heart

His centeredness is one few know

And most of all:
Be kind to him because he is kind
With small deep gorges of blue
He has my mother’s eyes
He will speak to you with them
And you will know her same tenderness
His mutual respect.
His unwavering commiment to justice.
His fierce, deep resolve for love.

And he will smile.
Always smile.
Because he smiles thru endurance

He is a Mammoth on wheels
Living in the deep knowing of emotional mobility

To truly know him
Is to know with clarity
That the world is much more disabled
Then he has ever been.

Comments about To The Public: A Note On My Brother From His Sister Who Loves Him… by DeAnna Esquilin

  • (12/27/2012 3:34:00 PM)

    You write so very take the reader to the places you describe and the emotions touch as you have written.
    A very emotion stirs with your words.....10
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  • (1/20/2010 10:51:00 AM)

    This is the only time I've commented on a poem I have not read. My vision will not allow it. (cataracts) However, please know that I will return after surgery! The title, and various bits and pieces, compel it! (Report) Reply

  • (12/23/2009 4:40:00 PM)

    And he must be proud to have a sister like you. :) (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Poem Edited: Sunday, October 3, 2010

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