Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Would That I'd Have Died That Night?

I was the girl
The one with Pompe's Disease -
a neuro-muscular disorder
I became
a constellation of symptoms
I was the disease -
a disability
Robbed of all personhood
They told me I'd be dead by 21
So I tried to kill myself at 17
But as I clambered over the side of the bridge
a voice in my head told me to stop
Or maybe it was just cowardice
whistling through the wind and icy cold
Either way, had I jumped
I would have missed out on the last 45 years
Going to University, motherhood,
becoming a grandmother
I know I have defied the odds
but have I not the right to be defiant?
Now the chattering classes -
'Guardian' readers and the like,
want to give me the 'right' to die
'Assisted Suicide' they call it
Will this same 'right' be offered to the able bodied?
Or will those who suffer the pain of mental anguish
be protected from themselves...for their own good
Does this mean a disabled life is worth less? (worthless!)
In which case beware -
as prejudice comes dressed up as 'rights'

© Des Mannay

Des Mannay has won prizes and been shortlisted in 6 competitions, performed at 8 festivals, published in 8 magazines/blogs. His work has appeared in 15 poetry anthologies. Catch him on Facebook as "The stuff wot I wrote' Des Mannay - hooligan Poet". Twitter: @hooliganpoet