The negotiation - a cripple's perspective

i promised myself

a long time ago

that i would stop lying

that i would not duck reasonable people

seeking reasonable things


so i answer the question


every time it is asked


i dig deep into my gut and extract a piece of myself

wrap it up

and hand it out…


the best

the best are the ones who look


turn it over

mull it over

and then give it back


the worst are not satisfied

with what i have given

this shabby piece

is not enough


and the list comes:




massage therapy



muscle alignment

electric wheelchair

energy alignment

physio therapy

regression therapy




on they go


as if i have not tried them all


as if i do not still dream

of running,

full tilt,

through the daisies


of course

between the best

and the worst

are the rest

the mass who look


only to see themselves:

their geriatric fears,

the impossible made true

in me


who look

as if i might have something extraordinary

to impart.


and maybe

some nights

i do




i can tell of hell in a bucket

i can paint the bubble of abstract, wilful life

of envy

of pride


and the eerie silence of the dead calm sea


but mostly, the lessons are few


in fact


there is only one that means anything


and here it is:




at some stage


will be forced to negotiate

with the physical


with the step

the chair

the toilet

the road that can no longer be walked


we are all forced to die


and it will hurt.


at some stage we will all sit in silence – bellowing to ourselves,

in that silence we will add up our life achievements

and they won’t amount to much…


the negotiation: this is all i have to offer


prepare yourself to bargain

at the round table of our demise.


generally this is not enough


the fact that that the dwarf, the downs baby, the wheelchair man and all the other defectives


despite appearances

exactly the same

as you



it disappoints


and they look away




that life could be so cruel

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