On the day my mother died I found myself so overwhelmed with grief and all the miserable details of planning her funeral that I stopped everything and made up a haiku.
Here’s the gist of it:
My deodorant and my
Prozac are working overtime
Though this haiku did not solve my problems it did evoke my mother’s salty, colorful sensibility and more than anything that’s what I needed on that terrible day.
Disability carries its own dans macabre–stigma, alienation, insufficient benefits or accommodations, the heavy burdens of self-advocacy. Some days one feels like the snail climbing Mt. Fuji–there’s a beautiful, steady, earnest hopelessness about the enterprise of enduring. I think like the haiku form of verse, disability is at once both clear and vague–by this I mean the outlines of human worth are evident in every action undertaken by a person with a disability, and, just so, the way forward is all too often hard to see. The season now must be spring or summer, the wheelchair girl is singing.
That’s a blindness haiku and true as a poem can be. It’s the bare outlines of human value we celebrate in the short poem and which we celebrate in our dailiness. The latter depends on evident consciousness: who are you, who are you just now?
Just three days old,
The moon, and it’s all warped and bent!
Friend, take my cane.