The Walker

Written by: Edmund Siejka

I use a walker to get around
A device I need in order
To maintain my balance
So I walk slowly.

People rush by 
Not seeing me
Making me feel that I am in their way
Some are impatient
I feel their warm breath on my neck
As I try to pass through the subway turnstile
On my way to work
Just like everyone else.
A few say their sorry
Over time I’ve learned
That people say things they don’t mean.

I tire easily
Occasionally stopping to catch my breathe
When that happens
Gestures are all I have 
Since my hands are busy
Sometimes my face becomes like putty
Primed to be explicit in nature
A nod
Mouthing the words thank you for a door held open.

If forced,
By a unexpected blocked exit
Or a person suddenly veering in front of me
I do something
That crosses the line
Or angry
I do this because it’s the only thing I can do.