A Foot Thing – A Poem

He saw meindex

coming up the

front steps of

my apartment building.

“Hey.”

He said. I

nodded at him.

“Hello.”

He got up

off the front

stoop and held

the door open

for me. I

am always one

to do that

for others, but

it still surprises

me when others

do it for

me in return.

“Thank you very much.”

I said. He

smiled and motioned

at my feet.

“It’s no problem. You seem to have a foot thing going on there.”

“A foot thing?”

I tilted my

head to the

right, not sure

I had heard

him correctly. He

had the good

grace to look

slightly uncomfortable, embarrassed.

“You walk funny. You had trouble coming up the stairs.”

“Oh.”

I said quietly.

I spend a

great deal of

time trying not

to think about

my constant companions,

disease and disability.

They are not

who I am,

what makes me,

me. They are

only a part

of who I

am and what

I can do.

“Not that it’s any of my business, but why do you walk that way?”

I thought about

not answering him,

but he seemed

genuinely curious so

I answered him.

“I have Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis.”

Then I waited

for what people

usually said, the

pitying looks, words

uttered in soft

voices. Instead, he

surprised me completely.

“Oh! Well you’re doing very well then. I would never have known.”

“Thank you.”                                      

I blushed slightly.

“I just take it one day at a time.”

“Well, whatever you’re doing, it’s working. Keep it up.”

I was warmed

by his compliment.

“Thanks,”

I said, smiling.

“I will.”

I felt lighter

as I went

inside and wondered

about the difference

between how you

perceive yourself and

how others see

you.

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