Marilyn Brandt Smith


There's such a big fuss about how we are labeled;
Are we perhaps handicapped, or simply disabled?
Maybe we're challenged or merely impaired?
Exceptional? Special needs? All options compared.

There's a quiet consensus 'bout our catch-twenty-two,
Be gentle, be tactful so we won't be blue,
Nor will our families, coworkers, and friends;
Isn't kindness the way that acceptance begins?

"Blind" is too scary, "Deaf" sounds so cold;
"Prosthesis?" "Neuro-Anything?" Who'd dare be so bold?
Yet when funding is needed which often is true,
The pictures and stories let pity sneak through.

We're just private people getting on with our lives;
Trying to stay focused as society tries
To help us, avoid us, understand us; but gee!
When they plan a fundraiser please don't let them find me.


Marilyn Brandt Smith writes short fiction, poetry, and essays concerning disability, women's issues, and diabetes. She edits Magnets and Ladders, an Internet magazine from the Behind Our Eyes writers' group, and is preparing a collection of her work, Chasing the Green Sun, available in 2012. Visit Magnets and Ladders or Email