'I/Thou' or 'You and Me'?
I am wearing black like Johnny Cash for the outcaste and the weak;
to demand inclusion for all of us who dare not/can not speak.
I am wearing red for all the dead who gave up their basic right;
the courageous and outrageous who don't give up the fight.
And I am wearing yellow for the fellow who is more than he is labelled;
he has his dreams, but we it seems can only see disabled.
My trust is ruptured by abuse, I have no hope there is no use telling anyone.
When Dad comes home, and Mum's alone he'll bash her just for fun.
She watches on but will not see the terrible things he does to me;
Cos she needs his drugs more than my hugs; they seem to set her free.
I'd like the kids to come and play; but they hear the noise and stay away.
My esteem all lost, just another cost of addiction and I stay.
I'd like to learn but skipped this term to hide the burns and bruises;
from his cruel hands when they land and the cigarettes he uses.
My legs were blown off by a mine; my friends all killed before their time
They say 'Oh he is a PTSD; some war related tragedy'.
I don't go out at all these days, I have changed I know in many ways...
I hate myself and all of you for what I've done and you put me through.
I am old - you look away; fear you will be me someday leaves me sitting on the fence
I have riches from living and I could be giving - experience so immense
But you want to restore, re-enable some more and rehab to some social norm
so I am the taker and you are the maker of deviance in some form.
I'm deaf, I'm blind, not one of your kind. So you look the other way
You move your eyes just to disguise your uncomfortable dismay
My colour, race, lack of grace all put me outside
the social fence that's so immense - don't you see I too have pride?
Open the door and don't ignore I am a person trapped out here
You have the key to set yourself free just overcome your fear.
You see crippled, mute or blind = or somewhat feeble in the mind
but you don't understand in your 'I/Thou' land
I've learned things that I will share
about other ways to see and hear, to talk and think and feel you near
just take the time to care.
Reach out to me, I'm halfway there and willing you to see -
I can and will participate
if you remove the things that separate
and suffocate our souls.
Together we can clarify and magnify what it really means to Be;
so I demand you commence - pull down your big fence
and touch the richness of 'You and Me'
Rhonda Nay (Social Participation Conference LTU 27-11-11)