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The Day Uncle Joe Lost His Handicap

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Below is the poem entitled The Day Uncle Joe Lost His Handicap which was written by poet E.J. Smith. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Day Uncle Joe Lost His Handicap

Uncle Joe had a habit of telling people,
I have a handicap you know.
His sister-in-law, Viva, grew weary
Of hearing that.
After all, had she not taught him
To walk, to talk and to feed himself?
She was seventeen when she came into Joe's life.
Too young to listen when the others said "he can't".
She did not know the meaning of the word  "retarded"
And did not understand why a child of two 
Was not walking and talking.
She believed he could learn and he did.
She coached, begged, bribed and loved him
Into doing the things any other child of two could do.
So, years later, when Joe persisted in telling others,
Strangers and family, that he had a handicap
Viva got tired of hearing it.
 One day she said You know Joe, I haven't seen
Your handicap in a long time. 
Maybe it's lost, let's look for it.
After all, you can't tell people you have a handicap
If it isn't there anymore, can you?
His brother, Hugh, agreed
So they searched all day for Joe's handicap.
Neighbors stopped by
And when told of Joe's dilemma,
Joined in the quest.
Behind doors, in closets and high in tees
Every nook and cranny explored,
No stone left unturned.
Finally, evening approached and 
Still no handicap.

Viva said, Well Joe, your handicap seems
To have vanished, flown the coup, escaped
You just don't have it anymore.
Since that day, Uncle Joe has never again
Mentioned his "handicap" to anyone.

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  1. Date: 7/24/2012 7:53:00 AM
    Oh Yeah! I had a cat named Precious, but by the time she grew up and many scratched hands later (I asked for it!), her name evolved into Slash...Enjoy that kitty!

  1. Date: 7/24/2012 7:51:00 AM
    Thanks for the comment Bob! I keep saying I'm gonna write a book about him!

  1. Date: 6/25/2012 6:15:00 AM
    Thanks! I am so happy that you are reading my stuff. My Uncle Joe was the most important person in my life, the person I could always depend on for unconditional love. If you do not know someone with Down Syndroome-seek someone out, you will be rewarded...now I'm off to read YOUR stuff!

  1. Date: 6/24/2012 7:15:00 PM
    I really, really like this. You have it all here, a well written compelling story with a great moral. Thanks for sharing your wonderful storytelling.

  1. Date: 3/31/2012 6:02:00 AM
    Thanks Bob! Your kind words mean a lot to me. My Uncle Joe died at 63 on Nov. 12, 2010. He was a constant in my life and my source of unconditional love. (His disability was Down Syndrome). I will miss him until I see him again!