I always enjoyed walking, more than the average person. In the right hands, walking is a powerful statement that can strike the notice of anyone. When I look at my mother, walking is a precious thing that many people take for granted. I am different from her, not in looks because we look alike. I am different from her in the fact that I am younger. I have two feet to take me wherever I want to run away to. My mother does not, and yet it has never stopped her from her destination, wherever that might be. My mother, so strong, has lost a lot. A lot is so broad in terms, it does not nearly come close to the loss my mother has suffered. But this is how she sees it. Something that happened in her past that changed everything, except her will to live and continue on. My mother, with no feet to speak of (and one knee), cannot dance like a person who takes for granted walking. Instead, she dances with her words and her wit. She rolls on wheels like a normal amputee. But ah! She is so different. She taught me to appreciate life, and she taught me to appreciate walking.
I sit here, imagining what it would be like to see my mother with legs that I’ve never known. Then I look in the mirror. I look so much like my mother, so could it be that I walk like her as well? I asked her, she said no. I guess I have my own uniqueness since I am half her and half my father. I know that she probably had a walk that was as seductive as I can make my walk, but I will never see it. I can only imagine… Later on, my mother told me if I really walked like her, I’d have more stalkers. I have enough problems with stalkers, so maybe it’s for the best that we don’t walk the same.
When my mother was 15, she burned severely. Nine months she suffered after, forever scarred. Forever handicap. Yet not handicap from life. Never once did she see this as her own personal burden. She is my hero because of that.
I do not walk the way I use to. When I was younger, I walked like a child. When I was a teenager, I walked like a dancer. Then I had the car accident that would bruise my hip. Now, I think I walk at a slower pace than the people around me. But I have the power to change the way I look walking. I can be as aggressive as a swan if I wanted to, and just as graceful. But modeling on the runway is probably not in my future. Though, who knows really? Walking is harder than it used to be. I use to like walking…
I don’t remember when I learned to walk. My mom says I was 9 to 10 months old. Before that, I climbed on things. After that, I unlocked doors. I used walking as a weapon of opportunity as a child. Walking was my liberation, my first step in going wherever it is I’m going. It was the beginning…
I asked my mother if she misses walking. She told me she got use to not walking, and adjusted. Her life changed, but not in a way that she missed what she use to have. Her mother, my grandmother, became a pillar of strength to her as my mother is to me now. I wonder what kind of relationship my grandmother had with her mother. I cannot ask her about it now, her memory escapes her. I’ll have to ask my mother and listen attentively when she tells me.
This is one of my UA poems. Written 1-23-2011. Walking is something I think about since my mom doesn't walk anymore. I have a different opinion on walking now. Maybe I should write another poem.