Editor’s note: As we welcome the new year, we are pleased to share this poem by Mike Bonikowsky.
Mike is often asked to speak on behalf of the disability community; a community he spends much time with, but does not belong to as an able-bodied person. He recognizes the tension in this and seeks input and guidance from people with lived experience. This poem, for example, went through multiple iterations based on feedback he solicited from friends and colleagues before arriving at the version you’ll find below.
This poem captures the belief that we are all stronger together.
Whoever has ears, let them hear Whoever has eyes, let them read The signs the Lord has written out All over his creation. This is his word inscribed for us In all the shapes that bodies make Spoken in a thousand tongues That only love can translate. This is the sign of contradiction. Hung like Christ, like constellations That spell the secret heart of God In the only alphabet that can. Look, you eyes, that you may see Listen, ears, that you may hear. Open your hearts, minds, arms, and gates For this is the Kingdom you prayed would come.