An Open Prison

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Because of a genetic disorder I found myself facing a future in a wheelchair and blind. I would not yield, after years on crutches, many operations, I am left with around 50% vision in one eye and able to walk with just a stick and life is beautiful: my changed life anyway. Being classed as disabled taught me the unkindness of others bites deep, I also learned to forgive ignorance and accept what I had become.

Disengaged from the life I knew.

Uncoupled from friendships: now unwanted.

Estranged from my expected future.

How un-cool, to hover near the spotlight’s edge,

Afraid to shine or share what I have,

If indeed, I have anything to share at all!

Behind my mask of apparent contentment,

I suppress the desire for danger,

Quell the urge of violent response

To the careless whispers of uncaring ignorance.

Deep breaths, focus, forgive the smirking fools.

Move away, soothe away restless anger.

Calm the red, aggressive rage within,

Learning, accepting what I have become.

No reason for my distress, or shame.

Why hide away from the judgement of others?

I am neither thief, traitor nor murderer,

Or a threat of any kind to anyone: and yet,

I am different: I am disabled,

Disengaged from the life I knew.


Submitted: January 03, 2010

© Copyright 2022 PaulChafer. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Mistress of Word Play

My dear friend if you are disabled then I will eat a hat. I know you have a condition as you wrote. Would love to hear more. A fixation of mine inherited diseases. If you don't mind talking about it. You expressed your feelings so well in this. If it were me I would not be so brave. You are probably more whole in life, love, and spirit than most of the people I encounter in my daily meetings. Never feel like this again. Susan :)

Mon, January 4th, 2010 12:28am

Author
Reply

Thank you Susan. I have been a lot worse than I am now, there were times when I wanted to give up, Debbie once fetched the electric carving knife upstairs and asked where it could be plugged in? I just laughed and knew things could only improve and they did. Will mail you.
Paul.

Mon, January 4th, 2010 7:39am

hollydar

It made me so sad to read your poem Paul. There are so many ignorant people out there and I feel they are the "disabled" not you or anyone else who has health problems in some way or another. Your brilliant talent makes you far from disabled and your obvious kindnessa and caring of others, regardless of the ignorance of some, makes you very special. Take care and God Bless. Pat

Mon, January 4th, 2010 11:44am

Author
Reply

Awe, that is so kind Pat, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You always say the kindest things. As for me, being disabled perhaps had a hand in shaping my character, opening my mind to a new understanding of life and the troubles others face. I have many horror stories of the ignorance of others, but I am over them, moved on and I am off the crutches for now, for a few years yet, and luckily, when I lost my eye I had a spare! seriously, life is good, the set backs only serve to make us stronger.
Paul.

Mon, January 4th, 2010 7:57am

lily of the nile

Hi! I read this and it just broke my heart. As Susan said I have never perceived you as anyone more than someone with great strengths in all directions and aspects of life. Beautiful write. Bless you. Lily

Mon, January 4th, 2010 1:23pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Lily for reading and commenting, my disability is not something I care to dwell on, I did write about it lots at one time, trying to come to terms, but acceptance is the key. I am much better now thank you and I would not change places with anyone.
Paul.

Mon, January 4th, 2010 7:32am

air

hmmm, amazing how one can not see any dissabilty in you! this line ; "I suppress the desire for danger"
made me think that you like so many people feel this desire very strongly; passionately! Life in all its shapes/forms.. takes us completely 'out' of our minds doesn't it though? like ecstacy. I guess I am referring the deepness of thought and possibilities.
You have come far. good god it is amazing the strength you must have.
I'm sorry that there was anger and rage in your path but obviously those emotions called the passion in you to become even bigger ya think?
Well I am glad that I met you Paul. I am very intrigued and looking forward to reading more of your writes. ~katie

Mon, January 4th, 2010 2:57pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Katie for reading and commenting. I saw a comment of yours, think it was on a poem of Anna's and went to look at your work and was immediately impressed. I promise to visit your page and read more as and when I can. Your kind words are appreciated.
Paul.

Mon, January 4th, 2010 7:23am

MADNESS IN INK

A sad write, but I see hope as well. Bravo for overcoming what life dealt you. Fantastic poem! M

Mon, January 4th, 2010 8:14pm

Author
Reply

Thank you M, pleased you liked it. I wrote many like this, but none of them will appear here, that part of my life is now dealt with, I will of course deteriorate as I get older, but forewarned is forearmed and i know I will kick back hard when the time comes;o)
Paul.

Tue, January 5th, 2010 5:19am

Timeless Thoughts

Did not realize so much had happened to you. Great write. Gary

Mon, January 4th, 2010 9:13pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Gary, yes, I have lived in interesting times as far as my personal life and health goes. Bon Jovi wrote, 'a poet needs the pain' I could be writing until I'm over a hundred at this rate lol. Cheers mate, thanks for reading.
Paul.

Tue, January 5th, 2010 5:12am

danielmiller

I never dreamed you had problems. This was sad but happy at the same time. Way to go. Great write!

Wed, January 6th, 2010 5:17pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Daniel, I am much improved since that poem was written, still have health issues, but I'll live a little longer;o)
Paul

Wed, January 6th, 2010 3:08pm

MyraSpears

It amazes me you speak so freely about something I know must bother you. A lovely heart felt write. Kudos.

Wed, January 6th, 2010 5:35pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Myra, I am getting on with life as there is no other option, well, there is, but not a viable one;o) I'm over it, the angst of disability, acceptance is the key, but thank you for your kind words.
Paul.

Wed, January 6th, 2010 3:24pm

GFJones

On first read, I took your perspective and well understood the meaning and emotion that you convey. On second read I applied this to my own able-bodied circumstances and find a very similar experience. Each line provokes memory of the challenges and changes that life has wrought. Excellently written and conveyed. Thank you for coming into the spotlight and sharing this.

Fri, January 8th, 2010 2:34am

Author
Reply

Thank you Mr. Jones, just from this one small comment I can discern you are a man of worth and insight. Your kindness and thoughtful words are much appreciated. I think the acceptance of my predicament was the turning point, once done, the adjustment and transition from able bodied usefulness to disabled usefulness was an easy transition. I do lapse, every now and again, but limited options keep it real for me.
Paul.

Fri, January 8th, 2010 3:42am

scott 37

If danger is in your heart, I doubt that you have supressed it's lure. I reckon that you just go looking for it in different forms. Maybe less physical. As the rest of this poem suggests.

Great piece. I'll have to come back for more.

Sun, January 10th, 2010 9:24pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Scott, I imagine you are right. Having lived a very active life until I turned 35ish, it is hard to just accept the sudden onset of disability and kick off the dancing shoes, so to speak. Only last night we thought there might be an intruder outside and I soon had my boots on preparing for action: luckily - so my wife says - it was a false alarm;o)
Paul.

Mon, January 11th, 2010 5:53am

scott 37

Oops, I forgot. Excellent title.

Sun, January 10th, 2010 9:25pm

Author
Reply

Cheers mate.
Paul.

Mon, January 11th, 2010 5:53am

Suzanne Lockhart

Absolutely FABULOUS. Really beautiful, Paul.

Mon, January 18th, 2010 7:40pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Suzanne for reading, your comments are very much appreciated.
Paul.

Tue, January 19th, 2010 6:49am

NazireC

I really enjoyed this Paul.
This was so open, so honest and without the slightest veil to cover it up.
Its beautiful and really carefully thought out.
I loved the form and I loved your voice throughout the poem.
Disengaged from the old life, but a new one awaits for you now.
:) I hope all is better though.

Mon, January 18th, 2010 10:45pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Nazire, good days and bad days, cold and damp plays hell with my aches, but I am happy to be here at all. Off the crutches - and I was happy to be on them at the time - but still using a stick, but I can walk. I now appreciate a walk like nothing before, you never know what have until you have lost it, those words are so true, pleased you enjoyed the poem.
Paul.

Tue, January 19th, 2010 6:48am

RebeccaSnow

A thought provoking poem. I liked the rawness of the emotion captured within it and the line "why hide away from the judgement of others?"

Tue, January 26th, 2010 12:18pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Rebecca, much appreciated. At one point though, that is how I did feel, as if my disability was a shameful thing, pleased you liked the read.
Paul.

Tue, January 26th, 2010 5:22am

Desiree Addams

Damn awesome piece. I'm technically disabled (fibromyalgia). My mind still functions just fine. I know how people can see you as something less than human when you have a disability. But, like the Phoenix, I will rise from the ashes just like you have.

Your writing is awesome! The feeling is deep. Love it. I will read more.

Thu, February 4th, 2010 11:53pm

Author
Reply

Thank you for reading and commenting, I adore you for the praise you anoint me with, much appreciated. I love it that you are made happier by reading my words. Yes, disability really makes one take a fresh look at life, how the world works, how we are perceived by others who think themselves superior just as they are able bodied. I love your insight;o)
Paul.

Fri, February 5th, 2010 8:54am

Vincey Delaney

What an amazing piece this is!!! It certainly grabbed my emotions, wow, so bold and powerful!! I can understand your nature, character! It seems you must struggle, things will never be the same. I was going to say, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. You must have heard this often!!Sorry about your troubles, my husband has Asthma. Will there ever abe a break for the disheartened. So, this is down to earth, great comments will come!!!Bye for now!!!

Sat, April 17th, 2010 7:19pm

Author
Reply

Thank you for reading and commenting, much appreciated. This poem was written at a low point in my ,ofe, I am much recovered now and modern medicine has made remarkable advances with my particular situation.

Sure, I heard the expression many times, so long as the light at the end of the tunnel is not an approaching train, I agree with you.

Asthma!!! Yes, my wife has asthma so can relate the issues there.

Pleased you like the poem, I have many more like this, but I won't post them. Time to move on.
Paul

Sun, April 18th, 2010 11:40am

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