“Temporarily Able-Bodied (TAB)” by Dara McLaughlin

28 Apr

Two guys in a bar. Both have wheelchairs.
First guy says to the second guy
“What are you?”
Other guy says, “C-5*. You?”
First guy says “T-8**. Bullet.”
Second guy lifts his beer, a little. “Motorcycle.”
That’s it. Nothing funny about these two guys in a bar.
They speak the same language, understand
without words the stories and history and all the bits and pieces
of one another’s existence. Nothing funny.

Two guys in a bar. They have wheelchairs. Having a good ol’ time.
Just that afternoon the first guy’s girlfriend left him for a “Walker.”
He knew it would happen some day. Today was the day.
He drowns the disengagement in another beer.
The second guy celebrates another month at the job.
It won’t last long; he’s too complicated, too much a symbol of tragedy.
Life’s tough enough without reminders.

Two guys in a bar. Both have wheelchairs.
They look around, take in the scenery, the only two guys in the bar
who know the meaning of TAB. The only two guys in the bar
who know that every other guy in the bar is a TAB.
Nothing funny about that either.

*C-5 is an injury at the 5th cervical vertebra
**T-8 is an injury at the 8th thoracic vertebra

———————————————-

This poem is from A MAP of THIS WORLD by Dara McLaughlin.

I miss her. She still inspires me, for speaking up, for speaking truth, for speaking uncomfortable truths. For loving life. For living. For writing. I’m honored to receive the RED SHOES AWARD tomorrow, a tribute named in Dara’s honor. It matters to me deeply.

Thanks friends for being supportive of my journey with speaking my own truth.

One Response to ““Temporarily Able-Bodied (TAB)” by Dara McLaughlin”

  1. Digital Poetry April 28, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed reading it very much. Reading and writing poetry relaxes me and I think it’s soothing for the soul. Great job.

    A Poem for Mothers

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