Let me talk to you about pride.
That glowing feeling making you all warm inside.
It’s a raised glass at a wedding
And Feeling your arms outspreading
A front row Dad filming a year three nativity
and Armstrong’s first steps into zero gravity.
We know pride pretty well,
But there is a myth we must expel:
That pride must be placed onto us by others:
Our fathers, sisters and mothers
When in fact pride is something we can build ourselves
It is a movement, an ethos, that leaves no one on the shelves.
It is about Instead of letting society label and compartmentalise,
Learning we with disabilities CAN rise.
Unpack ourselves from boxes ticked: deaf, wheelchair user, learning disabled, mentally ill, Or partially sighted
To join a species united.
Because We are all Breathers of oxygen, feelers of feelings- and some other variables.
So Let’s reject sad piano instrumentals
And ask those around us to look for the people we are inside.
Not letting ‘heartwarming’ videos outsource our pride,
instead let’s keep pride homegrown.
Not as commodity being siphoned but a seed to be sewn.
Instead of being inspirational
And relieving the able’s concerns for the Existential
We can be stoic, resourceful and admirable.
Not the helpless characters in a parable.
Let us not apologise for asking for the ramp.
Let this poem be an approval stamp
No one need apologise for a body built shoddily
When it is just an outcome of the genetic lottery.
Let us not need to wear badges so someone gives up a seat.
Let us not open brown envelopes with our hearts missing beats.
And instead of our partners being praised for inspirationally putting up with us,
Maybe, just maybe, we could be praised for putting up with them.
And I will say this over and over again:
Disability is not the protagonist of our stories.
Nor is it a nemesis or the source of all our glories.
Botched body, mind or something inside
We can build our own pride.
We are all human
And humans sometimes look like us.
© Imogen Kate. All rights Reserved.