August 15, 2018

Amy: The Label


I wrote this poem to express my frustration with the way that society wants to interact with my son. Often, he is treated as a collection of labels or diagnoses rather than an individual. We hear words like inclusion, accessibility and equality but that is rarely what he experiences. He works hard every day to be the best that he can be, regardless of the labels that society has relegated to him. As his mother, I want the community to see him as I do – a fun, creative, joy-filled human being, deserving of every goal he dares to dream.

The Label

This flesh I created,
A limitless dream covered in the skin of his ancestors,
Has been distilled into a living toe tag,
A label.

Relegated to slavery,
A limited existence covered in the lie of equality,
His stars have been rendered

Climbing the mountain,
Covering his face, baring his feet, he stretches.
His star meets him in a bush

The label,
A limited word covered by the name of my child,
Becomes ash in the wind