I absolutely loved Zach Anner’s talk at WDS 2016 in Portland earlier this month. Full of humor, adventure and feeling. Here’s a little poem inspired by his words, written after his talk while we were still in the theater.

I paused in between
Words spoken
Through the corner of my eye
I noticed her black eyes

And a tear down her cheek
Presence shows itself
In small ways

He spoke with humor
Lightness and joy
The most confident person in the room
Cannot walk
The most disabled
Lights us up

How does he do it
What does his voice say
In moments of quiet
When no one’s listening?

He could not do it alone
Obviously, clearly
This dude full of love
With his cerebral palsy

He needed his friends
For everything
For hikes through the forest
Kayak trips in the lake

To lift him up
To climb the stairs
“So many fucking stairs”
That he could never take

But what about us others
“Disabilities invisible”
What right do we have
To ask for help?

Just stop for a second
Stop that will
To do it alone
Prove the impossible
Bare chested in the cold

Please for a moment
Look around
These others around you
They need your hand
The one that reaches out
And asks to be led
They need your love
More than your head

A voice spoke out
From a different place
Was held by a look
And a tear down her face.


Update: Zach’s WDS talk is now available at http://chrisguillebeau.com/zach-anner-wds/.
More videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/ZachAnner
Photo credit – Armosa Studios.

And here’s another poem from WDS this year – Help Me See.