On Being Special
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On Being Special

Sue Napolitano

Poem written and performed by Sue Napolitano.


On Being Special

We cannot afford
To admit
To being special.
For us the word
Has been loaded with chains,
Has been made into a prison
Or zoo
Where voyeurs
peer through
The bars
At our antics

To be special is to be gawped at
With horror and glee
As we show purple buttocks
And have peanuts
Poked at us.

To be "special"
Is to be aware
Moment by aching moment
Of the gaping distances
Between our lives
And that other busy world
That keeps us out.

We have to insist on our ordinariness,
Fight for it's recognition.
We breath air, eat food, love, hate, need, give.
We are human.
We have to insist, as Shylock did,
And insist,
And insist.

And yet
When my lover looks into my eyes
Like she is looking into the deep well of me;
When my baby laughs into my face
Like we have always been connected,
Soul to soul;
When the sun shines on me
And flowers bloom around me…….

Then I know it's time
To reclaim this word,
Throw off it's chains,
Unlock the prison
Dismantle the cages at the zoo.

Its time to admit-
Yes, I am special
And you, and you, and you,
Are special too.