REFLECTION

REFLECTION

by Scott Lew 9/20/13

When I was just a gimpy guy
 in a wheelchair
 with a smile
 and a palpable positive attitude
Strangers would come up
 tell me their life stories
Friends would confide in me
 secrets
 they never told anyone
I appealed to healers and heretics
 the interesting and possibly insane
Everyone
 wanted to talk
I was a mirror
 in which they could see
Themselves
 reflected back
 from my most mortal
 point of view
Strange comfort
I was an accidental oracle
It made me feel good
 helpful 
 needed 

Then I got trached
 and I lost my ability
 to talk
Soon after
 my facial muscles
 atrophied
I couldn’t smile
 not even with
 my eyes
People no longer saw
 their reflection
 in me
They saw
 a blank void
And they stopped
 talking
 stopped
 approaching
Even my closest
 friends
I’m still the same guy
 but now I’m like a black hole
 absorbing everything
 reflecting nothing
And I get it
Who can look
 into a black hole
 without being
 disturbed
But it’s not that
 I’m a pariah
When people do
 brave talking to me
They’re amazed
 I’m still all
 there in there
I try to make them
 laugh
 by blinking out
 one word
 jokes
Croutons
And my boys know
 I say “yes”
 by blinking
So they’re always
 looking into my eyes
 and I get to get
 lost
 in theirs
Profoundly
 connected 

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “REFLECTION

  1. Lorna Bluestein

    Humanoids do the same with their closest friends who are seriously ill, but still have the ability to talk. People suck. It’s not all about you. ;-) Can’t imagine it, am moved by your poetry & absolutely LOVE that you enjoy the boys.

  2. Berks Joy

    From your poems and “reflections” have come an appreciation for whatever life throws my way. Both you and Ann are my heroes. Love to all of you. Joy Berks

  3. Matt Eddy

    Beautiful. Crushing. Beautiful.

    • Stephen

      Once again I am moved by your poems. They are tough and open-hearted and feel true. I am so glad you are in there, and these words are finding their way out. They make me reevaluate things. I would like to share them with my students — I’m a speech pathologist and I teach a course about communication to university undergrads. Keep it up Scott.

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