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Ready And Able


Every day I face the long way round

Just to do my shopping in the town

’cos if there’s one thing about these chairs

they don’t much handle any sort of stairs

I sit at the bottom looking towards the sky

or perched at the top, trying not to cry

when I ask for help but only get a passing frown

I often wish someone would just shove me down!

You look at me all queer, or right on past me … as if I’m not here

Why, oh why, can you not see, beyond my perceived disability

When you hear a slow click, click, clicking behind you

no it ain’t a stalker, it’s just me ’n’ my clumsy walker

on my feet I’m all unsteady, but I’ll

get to where I’m going when I’m ready

because amid the hustle and bustle

I’m happy with my shuffle

if it takes an hour or two, that’ll do me

…. what about you?

Just because I’m blind doesn’t mean I can’t see

I’m not speechless and I can hear

so chat to my dog and tweak his ear

but don’t forget you can talk to me.

I might be deaf but I know what you’re feeling

your movements, your voices all betray

what I go through every day

that it’s dealing with me you want to elude

Hey mate, it’s time to change your attitude!

Why, oh why, can you not see, beyond my perceived disability

My head is great (thanks for asking, mate)

but about lower down I can’t say

heard a crunching sound when I got speared into the ground

and I’ve not felt a thing since that day

surgeons say it mightn’t be so tragic

’cos with every day comes medical magic

but I seem to rely more on prayers than hope

at other times wishing I could loop a rope.

I wobble when I walk and I dribble when I talk

I love a drink, like sharing jokes

… and if no-one’s watching, maybe a smoke!

I cheer at the footy and cry at the news

I can put forward my personal views.

(aside: Dutton? What a wanker!)

I can keep a secret … and tell a few, too

So come on over, pull up a pew

We can talk about sport, global warming and rates

and before you know it, we’ll be old mates.

It’s amazing the many things you see, when you look beyond my perceived disability

I’m just a grown-up girl living in a child’s world

my face looks rather funny ’n’ me nose is often runny

and life for me is a different place to be

mostly it’s full of wonder

even when I make a blunder

but I get the shits when you stare at my tits

and don’t say a word to me

Why, oh why, can you not see, beyond my perceived disability

Was a normal sorta bloke before I had a stroke

now, someone’s got to fed me

and to dress me and relieve me

I pee myself and poop me pants

you’d never think I dream of romance

can’t get out a word, so it cannot be heard

that I’ve got the hots for my carer.

I’m sure she knows, ’cos it sticks out and shows

when she strips off my clothes for a shower!

I see you cringe when I have a swearing binge

or jump and down and throw things round

but because I am autistic, I often go ballistic, so imagine how it feels to deal with me all the time.

I’m a roller coasting bruise of ever-ranging moods,

when I’m good, I ain’t so good

when I’m bad, I’m bloody awful.

It’s a nightmare that never ends and which doctors cannot mend

And it’s driven both my parents around the bend.

Put your mind in another space, and imagine yourself taking my place

Then, only then, you might get to see, beyond my perceived disability.

© Ian McDougall

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