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A Poet’s Poetic Tribute To Maya Angelou

May 29, 2014

Yesterday, after the sad death of Maya Angelou, several of her poems started circulating online. One in particular, Caged Bird, reminded me of a particular issue some disabled children face, when teachers and parents wonder how and why they learn and store knowledge from an early age.

The answer, of course, is that disabled children are ‘caged’ in wheelchairs, and ‘trapped’ by the restrictions of disability. They are not able to do many of the things non-disabled children do at a very young age.

So, in tribute to a great poet, I, who can only dream of following in her footsteps, rewrote her great poem.

Thank you, Maya Angelou, for using your talents to put the thoughts of so many into words. You may be gone, but your writing lives on. RIP.

 

I Know Why The Disabled Child Learns

A healthy child leaps
And jumps in the wind
Swims in the stream
Till the current ends
And bathes his face
In the orange sun rays
And dares to claim the fresh air.

But a child that sits
In a four-wheeled cage
Can seldom see through
The spokes of rage
His hands don’t move and
His feet are tied
So he uses his brain to learn.

The disabled child learns
With a keen interest
Of things unknown
He always does his best
And his knowledge is stored
Till some future time
When his efforts will
Bring him freedom.

The healthy child thinks of playing in the breeze
And chasing soft winds through the sighing trees
And squashing the worms on the dawn bright lawn
He names the world his own.

But a disabled child sits and has his silent dreams
He cannot shout, though in his mind, he screams
His hands don’t move and his feet are tied
So he uses his brain to learn.

The disabled child learns
With a keen interest
Of things unknown
He always does his best
And his knowledge is stored
Till some future time
When his efforts will
Bring him freedom.

 

 

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