I

Though it may not make a difference, I confess that all too often
I have daydreamed things might change and that somehow your heart might soften.
I reach out to you in friendship, but get ridiculed instead;
When you hate that I exist, you make me feel far worse than dead.
Do you think I am oblivious to the way your eyes avert?
Do you know how your expressions and your words and actions hurt?
I am different—how I know this! I’m reminded every day.
It is written on your face and laced in everything you say.
But I should not be defined by what does not work perfectly;
I am more than just a wheelchair or a disability.
I may not think just like you do, may be sickly or obese;
By your judgment I don’t fit, but what about my puzzle piece?

II

In my world there’s so much noise that at times I cannot hear
Where a raindrop brings you solace, it’s a brainstorm that I fear
I speak softly; I speak loudly; Oft I do not speak at all;
Where you see me stilled by palsy, I can see me standing tall.
I’d give anything to tell you what is swirling in my mind;
What you can’t imagine losing I’d give anything to find.
I am under no delusion you can fathom how I feel;
I’d just like to know you’re willing to envision me as real.
You’ll see my unique artwork if you’ll look beyond my frame;
For us both to be of value, we don’t have to be the same.
I’d like to think this world might offer yet some small release
As I struggle to define the shape of my one puzzle piece.

III

All the times I’ve held my hand out, just to have my reach resisted;
I had almost given up all hope that a friend for me existed.
In a world where I must blend the way that I’m expected to;
My heart resolved to emptiness. Then one day there was you.
You didn’t see a crooked smile, a limp, a tic, an illness;
You saw a vibrant beauty tucked beneath peculiar stillness.
You were patient with my doubts and how I needed to adjust;
Where I once feared ill intentions, I knew you were safe to trust.
And I know you don’t want thanks, but still I’m thinking you should know
What a difference you have made and how you’ve helped me bloom and grow.
Just the way it made you smile to see my confidence increase
Has helped me love a world completed by my puzzle piece.

Lisa L. Easterling                                                                                                                                    

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2 thoughts on “Puzzle Piece

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