To all those of us

 

To all those of us, strapped down by pain
And the world's view of us.

To all those of us
Who have been pushed to the very fringes and beyond,
So that they are nothing but dust,
Shot down in mid-flight,
To be found too late, too late,
Ragged of skin and broken.

To all those of us
Whose illness isn't painted on the outside of their bodies,
So that it is ignored, argued away, misunderstood.

To all those of us
Whose lives depend to the skin, to the flesh, to the pores,
To the eyes, to the mind, to the senses,
To the very cells,
On the kindness of others (or their non-kindness),
On the giving of others (or their not giving),
On the seeing of others (or their non-seeing),
So that sometimes they barely believe that they are visible.

To all those of us
Who are subject to the mood and moment of the other.

To all those of us
Whose flesh and nerves are painted, raw,
On the outside of their bodies,
And yet to the world, their illness is invisible,
Denied, misunderstood, mistreated.

To all those of us
Whose voices are not heard,
For they have no voice,
Who cannot say your name,
Who cannot say their own name,
Who have no speech,
Who have no words,
And there are no words for this place.

To all those of us
Whose hands used to brandish a sword,
Used to grasp a fountain pen,
A paintbrush,
And who could transform an empty canvas
Into a detailed story of shadow and light, delicacy and depth, mood and emotion,
Or who could lift a bow to a cello and make others cry,
Whose fingers could turn the stillness of those black and white keys
Into the wild insanity of jazz,
The thumping devotion of gospel,
Or the heavy weight of Beethoven
And whose hands now lie motionless, still,
By their sides, unable to grasp, unable to reach out,
Unable to shape, mould, create,
Unable to signal even,
Who once sang from hill tops,
And who now lie pale because they know no sunshine.

May the world turn around for us,
May the world turn around for us,
May the world turn around for us,

Somehow.