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One Look At The Chair

May 1, 2009

Hello Readers

On this Blogging Against Disablism Day, I decided to do something very special. I’d like to share the best poem I’ve ever written (even if I do say so myself!) with you all as my contribution to the event. Your comments, as always, are very welcome below. Enjoy!

One Look At The Chair

She won’t be welcomed in this school
There’s very few here who will think that she is cool.”
”But…” Said her dad, feeling more than a little sad,

”Our daughter has got such a brain!
She knows you won’t get far in London if you can’t handle rain!”
But they took one look at the chair
And they decided that they didn’t care
Is that fair?

She won’t be welcomed in this school
There’s very few here who will think that she is cool.”
So her parents won’t bring her here again
She stays silent so they don’t know how she’s handled the pain.
The teachers took one look at the chair
And they decided that they didn’t care
Is that fair?

She won’t be welcomed in this school
There’s very few here who will think that she is cool.”
”How will she go upstairs?”
”We’ve no space here for these moving chairs!”
”Well install a lift, then!” Said her dad, trying not to cry.
”We can’t, sir.” No one cares. He always gets the same reply.
After just one look at the chair
Teachers always decide they just don’t care
Is that fair?

Maybe not but just one look
Just one look was all it took
They took one look at her brand new wheels
And said ‘Why bother how she feels?’
After just one look at the chair
About her perfect test results, well, who has time to care?
Is that fair?

One look at the chair was all that it took
For them not to ask her favourite book

Which is any Harry Potter, just in case you care
But at the school, just one sight of the chair
Made a class of year elevens stop doing coursework just to stare
Just for one sight of a chair on wheels
“She doesn’t have a voice, why should we care how she feels?”
All this because they took one look at the chair
Is that fair?

As for the girl in the chair
She could teach them everything
In one lesson, but do they care?
Of course not, they’re too busy having
One look at the chair.
Is that fair?

Is it fair that she’s not welcome in this school
Is it fair that so few would think she’s cool
Is it fair that they base all their lies
On a chair on wheels, and not the smile that lights her eyes
Not on how she feels.
Is it fair that when they take one look at the chair
They decide straight away that they just don’t care
Is that fair?

Next time a teacher sees a student in a seat on wheels
I hope they’ll stop and see a person, and think of how the person feels.
Because I promise you there are so many out there
With so much more to give your schools than just a moving chair.
Would it be fair
If everyone took one look at the chair
And decided straight away that they just didn’t care?

If all it takes is installing a lift in your school
Buy a lift. You will buy so many a priceless gift
And make them feel so cool
So go ahead and be the one to change the rule
Take one look at the person inside the chair
Give them just one smile, to show that you care
Because, teachers, it’s only fair.

We can’t drive cars, that may be true
But we might just get A stars, teachers, it’s all up to you
So let us in, and let us win
This timeless war, we can’t be bothered to fight any more
Let us try, don’t make us cry
Show us that someone out there really cares
Show us that not everybody stares
At countless girls in countless wheelchairs

She may never wear high heels
But all she asks is that you look at her, not at her wheels
After all she’s the girl with enough of a brain
To know you won’t get far in London if you can’t handle rain!
She may not be very bright
But please let her find out for herself, we all deserve that right.
Please give her a chance
She may never participate in Dance
But please give her a second glance
Please don’t decide that you don’t care
After taking one look at the chair
Because tell me yourselves, teachers, would that be fair?

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2009 7:23 am

    I thought you knew that people with Wheelchairs (and other disabilities), are ghosts, and have no feelings……….

    Actually, things ARE changing. Just not fast enough….

  2. samedifference1 permalink
    May 1, 2009 10:41 am

    Thanks for your comments!

  3. May 1, 2009 1:29 pm

    This poem really touched me. Very glad to have found your site through BADD.

  4. samedifference1 permalink
    May 1, 2009 3:28 pm

    Thanks for your comments. They mean a lot to me.

  5. May 1, 2009 6:28 pm

    It’s sad that this is so often the case – that the PEOPLE inside of a chair are ignored and invisible. I always thought that was one of the best parts about teaching little kids – back when I could – that they would see that I was just like every other teacher, even though I used a wheelchair. If you catch them young enough, seeing the person rather than the assistive device becomes 2nd nature.

    This is a truly touching poem.

  6. May 1, 2009 6:29 pm

    very moving

  7. samedifference1 permalink
    May 1, 2009 7:00 pm

    Thank you both. Your comments are appreciated.

  8. May 1, 2009 8:08 pm

    I love this poem…reminds me of school…back when dinosaurs walked the earth, LOL

  9. samedifference1 permalink
    May 1, 2009 9:48 pm

    Thank you. I’m glad you all liked my poem. I’ve been unsure for a while about posting original writing, but am glad to see it getting read and enjoyed.

  10. May 2, 2009 3:29 am

    I have met so many people who could have written this poem. Thank you for putting to feeling of so many into words.

  11. samedifference1 permalink
    May 2, 2009 10:55 am

    Thanks for your comments.

  12. May 2, 2009 4:05 pm

    Your poem truly touched me. As an educator, I’ve seen colleagues on both ends of the extreme — some who balk at the idea of working with a student with an obvious disability and some who view a physical disability as a reason to “dumb down” the material, as if being in a wheelchair or blind or hearing impaired implies an inability to learn. I am forever grateful that I grew up with an uncle who is an amputee and whose disability shaped my understanding of “normal.”

  13. samedifference1 permalink
    May 3, 2009 12:02 am

    Thanks for your comments. It means a lot to hear the thoughts of a teacher on this subject.

  14. May 5, 2009 10:49 pm

    Terrific words that just about sum up an absolutely unacceptable situation. Boy, I would love to see the faces on those teachers now!

    Keep up the writing and please keep posting publicly – your words deserve to be heard and seen.

  15. samedifference1 permalink
    May 5, 2009 11:12 pm

    Thank you so much for your comments. They have made my day!

Trackbacks

  1. Cynical Chatter From The Underworld » Blogging Against Disabilism Day 2009
  2. Poetry For #NationalPoetryDay: Some Links To My Original Writing | Same Difference

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