Frances Koziar | ABLEIST


While you were sending flyers for running groups
to people in wheelchairs you sent me a job ad
the month after my retirement; a retirement,
—I know—that you didn’t agree with, ignorance
clouding your sight like a thousand
mosquitoes, buzzing over my words
of permanent and disability,
poisoning your flesh until your tongue
cut like knives—but this was different:
this maelstrom left me without words
to describe it. Ableist,

yes, but how can that word
capture the silencing, the dis-
respect, the arrogance, the
hate-between-the-lines? How
can that word sculpt the clay of this moment
into the glazed fragments pelting my flesh
like arctic ice? Into how
the sweetness of my acceptance changed for one moment
like fruit left too long, drunk
on a world that has never made room
for people like me?

I can’t do it, I could say, present
my vulnerability in my hands
like a baby bird,
but I already tried that. I’ll never

choose you, I might say,
instead. Not everyone
is so stupid.

Author’s Bio

Frances Koziar has 90+ pieces of prose and poetry published in over 60 different literary magazines, and is seeking an agent for diverse NA fantasy novels and children’s fairy tales (PBs). She is a young (disabled) retiree and a social justice advocate, and she lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.