Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christina's World (Wyeth)


My Christina's polio did not break her.
She fought a lifetime of weakness,
And now, so many years later,
Struggles to stay up off the floor.
Years in steel and leather harness
Armed her for perpetual war.
Single, she became a teacher,
Never knew a man to comprehend
How necessary, at times, the wheelchair.
Her students, though, took her hand.
She remembers crawling up the hill,
But not how she got so far from home.
Perhaps her greatest feat of will,
But now, as then, she fights alone.

Note: This sonnet is completely fictionalized. It was inspired, however,
by someone I meet in fourth grade (1963). We both wore leg braces at the time.
She had polio, and I something far less serious. But, the braces were a bond,
of sorts, and we became good friends. We've reconnected in recent
years. She is well and near family.

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