Christina's Courage by Richard M. Deets is a piece of poetry relating to disability.
We were in Chadds Ford and talked of Wyeth art,
Timeless as Brandywine Valley landscapes.
We weighed the mystery of Christina's courage
Rising above the crippling curse of polio, as
Mid-March chills encroached upon the evening hour.
Then the wind battered shutters and bent
Daffodils and chickweed, and rain
Splashed the riverward windows. We romanticized ourselves
Children bicycling winding country roads over rolling hills
Dropping into sleepy valleys, and your flaming auburn
Hair was always beyond reach.
Suddenly rain showers slowed to a quiet
Drizzle; for a moment, the only sound we
Heard was the cardinal striking the steel casement window.
I stood in the doorway drying forearm crutches, and turned
To see you drooping in your wheelchair, staring down
Stainless braces stacked in night shadows
As if searching for the child
Paralysis free, no longer there.
I watched as a tear
Rounded your pale cheek and fell.
And what of the spring day
Remained - a Norfolk Southern freight whistle faded
Northward and the courage of Christina,
Which we had discussed, appeared out of reach in the rain.
- Richard M. Deets
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