Not a Template: A Poem on Disability

This poem was written for a poetry slam that i was going to attend. The poem was designed to explain my viewpoint on having a disability. The poetry slam was canceled for unknown reasons, but I decided the poem was worth publishing.

Not a Template

I am a person, not a thing,

Just like you, but I can’t see;

My eyes don’t work, that’s okay,

For it is who I am meant to be.

In the winter I ski, in the summer I bike,

I have homework, family, and live my life;

My friends help me, and I help them,

We write and sing a similar song.

My ears still work, they hear loud and clear,

My feet still tap to the beats of music;

My life is complete without sight,

I do not wish I could see.

When I introduce myself, I let people see,

That blindness is part of me;

I want to be myself authentically so the world may know,

I am not less because of disability.

Some of us sing loud and clear,

Others sing soft and sad;

We all have a message to tell the world.

I will speak my message so all may know,

It is my job to be me, and not a template.

To be one’s self can be hard at times,

The world wants us to be all the same;

Differences are glorified, then thrown away,

People love containers that brand us all the same.

containment is worsened by disability,

Stereotypes help the containers take their shape;

Breaking out of preconceived notions is hard work,

Sadly stereotypes seal the container of disability.

If I were a template of humanity,

I would be a boring one indeed;

For our differences are what makes positive change come to be.

Let me be myself,

And show the world who I am;

No containers shall seal me in,

For I will break out of them until the very end.

not a template of humanity,

Nor a template of disability;

I’m myself, uniquely so,

I’m myself, nothing more.