I saw an interesting scenario on the my way home from work and it got me thinking. (Note: for those of you not from Boston, the T is the subway).

The red line is full
of commuters headed home
cell phones buzzing,
newspapers rustling,
eyes drooping past
the outskirts of the city.
Only a lucky few steal
the hard leather seats.
the rest of us grip a railing
and hope the car won’t
send us flying.
No one dares to take
the one empty seat.
The seat that’s perfectly situated
to make an easy dash for the door
when the T screeches to your stop.
The seat with the blue sign above it that reads:
Please give this seat to seniors
and persons with disabilities
People like the old guy with the cane
standing right in front of it,
gripping the cane in one hand,
the railing in the other,
wobbling with the movement of the T
just like the rest of us.
Strong hands, proud eyes, stubborn legs.
I smile with my eyes and think about telling
how I’m a little like him,
How given the choice,
I’d take the stairs.
But I haven’t a cane, a limp, or a blue assigned seat.
My medicine is my cane, my cough is my limp,
my seat is the knowledge
that maybe I’m a little different.
But I don’t sit down either.
We are people with abilities.
Abilities to fight back
Abilities to persevere
Abilities to stand,
when the world, and the books, and the statistics
are telling us to sit down.

-Copyright Lauren Bombardier 2010