Watch me roll my sightless eyes!
Uppity decreed at fifteen when her mother
insisted, using her dragon lady-voice,
“you must wear your hair short.
Blind girls aren’t princesses,
they can’t take care of long golden locks.”
I don’t want footmen, Prince Charming
or a fairy godmother, Uppity said. I want to inhale
champagne, be tickled by the feathers
of a boa around my shoulders, and swim
in the silk tresses flowing down my back.
At 25, unfurling her cane, her own feather boa
prickling her, warming her, against the rough
wind of gum wrappers, manholes and stroller
wheels, Uppity stepped out onto the street.
The tempo of the cane’s tapping protected
her from the icy staccato of the jaywalkers'
cold, startled stares. I’m Fred Astaire
dancing with my stick, putting on the Ritz,
Uppity told the god of blindness. I’m the Braille
Carrie Bradshaw. I’m a blindista.
-This poem originally appeared in Kathi Wolfe's The Uppity Blind Girl Poems (BrickHouse Books, 2015).
TIPS FOR ABLE-BODIED TYRANTS
Trump draws scornful rebuke for mocking reporter with disability.
The Washington Post, November 26, 2015
Don’t dance with cripples, tripping
the light fantastic with gonzo
peacock wheelchair wheels,
unless you want to tangle –
embrace the beat –
of their twisted tangos.
Quickly! Sit on your hands,
if you meet the deaf.
Only losers sign
to them. Who do they
think they are – wanting
their own language?
Remember: dwarfs, gimps –
those misshaped morons –
have no names. Keep
them and their ilk,
crouched, locked, behind
the funhouse doors.