Monday, April 14, 2008

A Poem for a Monday

I was thinking about all the ways we sometimes attempt to save others from harsh realities. Little things, like fibs regarding how you are feeling or your child is behaving at night. Little things, like telling someone how great someone looks today or nodding in understanding when you have no idea what she or he is trying to say. Little things, like saying "No, thank you" to the dozens of hand-outs about (fill-in-your-cause) instead of sharing more productive options for time well spent. Anyway, this poem has a tinge of that. When someone's physical self is less than perfect (loss of hair, too much hair, loss of eye-sight, loss of digits, extra digits, too much weight, not enough weight, and so on and on and on), a popular choice is either to hide away the imperfection or to hide away the entire person. Another choice, of course, is to aggressively and violently flaunt the imperfection. But that's an entirely different issue.

This poem is about just going on with what you're doing. Not protecting others from the imperfection; not daring others to comment by shaking it in their faces. Living, and hoping others will do the same. I like that.

It's called "The Brooklyn Bus Driver," and it's by Daniela Gioseffi.

from "The Brooklyn Bus Driver"

Takes my ticket with the stub of a missing thumb
held against his right hand-just enough of a crease
to rest the small card in where his thumb should press his
His missing finger shows like a wound in his eyes
--but he goes on smiling and taking tickets and driving
for a living. Why should he take tickets with his good left
when the entrance to the bus is on his right?

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I love this post. I want to print it out and put it on my refrigerator. Thank you!