Friday, February 21, 2014

An Open Letter to the Artist

An Open Letter to the Artist
By Kathleen Downes

Make room in your mind
For my curled up arm
My thumbs tucked stubbornly
Between two fingers

Paint my crooked figure
Pulled just slightly left
Draw my knobby knees
Great bulges on gently used legs

Make space in your sketchbooks
Your magazines, your films
For ribs that jut like mine
And please, don’t cover my scars

Take note of the way their fading red
Swirls into my skin
Like the mark of a time-honored tribe
And find a story within them

Look for the spots
Where the sun sneaks in
Between my braces and my socks
And love them, like I do

See my long toes that curl
When I speak my mind
Like an artist’s muse
Capture my bony, sloping shoulders

Don’t hide the wheelchair that cradles my body
Let it challenge what you thought
You knew about beauty
And think again.

Don’t see me as a fractured work of art
But instead, as a wildflower
That bursts in bloom
When seen through a lens of love

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