Tuesday, August 27, 2013


After watching the movie
where you could not walk,
could not talk,
lay still within your iron lung,
able to blink only one eyelid,
with which you communicated
your thoughts to the world,
what a miracle it seemed,
getting up, dazed, in the dark theatre,
taking step after step up the aisle, 
out into the falling dusk,
seeing and hearing the aliveness of the city,
legs, arms, breath, eyes, ears,
all working.

You turned my simple footsteps
into a miracle.

Poetry Jam's prompt today is Steps, which made me remember reading, and then seeing the movie, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, about France's Jean-Dominique Bauby. After his stroke at age 42,  Bauby dictated his incredible memoir by blinking his left eyelid, his only working muscle,  for each letter of the alphabet, to an assistant, to spell out his thoughts. He died soon after his book was published.

It definitely put complaining about obstacles to writing in perspective for me.


  1. Lovely to distill so much blessing into so few words.

  2. I have not seen the film but have heard about it.
    I like that you address this ma, rather than just tell us about him.
    Your closing lines are beautiful!

  3. I did not know about the film. When we are lucky to have all our body parts intact with a working brain and mind, we tend to take things for granted and crib. this should be an eye-opener. Enjoyed the poem which taught a valuable lesson.

  4. :) we should always be thankful to god for all his kindness and goodness..

  5. Si mi amiga, I'm quite appreciative of being ambulatory, having all my fingers and toes, my language and speaking skills and and my cognitve factors in tact.

    I've seen the movie and read his book. Much appreciated and 'kudos' to the the lady that patiently wrote it for him

    Have wonderful day mi amiga


  6. we sometimes forget what a precious and remarkable gift we all are enjoying.....this is so well written....

  7. it is pretty amazing....how the little thing becomes something so great. i hav seen this....and def we dont realize and take for granted so much in life...without we would be amazed

  8. We do so often take what our bodies can do for granted. Your poem is a reminder that we need to treasure our ability to move and also our ability to communicate on our own. A strong message we all need to hear.

  9. Sherry I found this movie so distressing I walked out almost from the beginning.Too sensitive an ill equipped to cope with life I'm afraid:)

  10. I remember feeling so distraught watching how this man suffered, such a tragic story. You did a wonderful job on this poem and yes we should all be grateful for each sight we see and step we take.

  11. beautiful, Sherry - the ability to walk is a miracle I've been aware of all my life, my eldest sister having lived in an iron lung for most of her teenage years... what a miracle that she could finally breathe on her own, even if she never did regain the use of her legs...

  12. I like this. It's so important that we don't take our blessings for granted.

  13. Wow... what an amazing, determined man. Thanks for sharing, Sherry!

  14. This was wonderful! Amazing how things can be put in perspective. What a determined individual--incredible!

  15. I haven't read this book or seen the movie. But after reading your poem and the explanation I feel like I've ben slapped in the face. And my proverbial response is, "thanks, I needed that." This is amazing Sherry. I must, must write more.

  16. We hear you loud and clear ... thankfully.

  17. I used to wonder about ending up in an iron long. I thought it might not be so bad, provided I could read all the time, and someone would bring me food. But it was the reading that mattered. If I could do that, I'd be happy.
    I think I was about 10, perhaps younger. I know it was the 1950s, and I was born in 1946.
    Later, of course, I had friends who'd had various milder forms of polio, and I was grateful to be me, to walk and move about easily.

  18. I loved that. So often we take the simple things in life for granted.

  19. Wow - make our challenges seem petty!

  20. Wonderful poem! What a meaningful response to a movie. I have not heard of this one. Will have to put it on our Netflix list.

  21. There but for the grace of God ... wonderful write!


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