This poem is dedicated to the children at the Bleshman Regional Day School, most of whom have severe cases of cerebral palsy. A couple other students and I, through a program at school, connected with these children through music and dance; it was unbelievable how immediate the initial unease dissipated and how strong the bond that followed was. During our last visit, they gave us colorful bracelets they had made.

Empty faces, first, empty;
An assorted cluster of empty faces
Herded between jarring, walled blankness.
It seemed as though the blankness crept
Between the creases of the bricks,
Molding hints of empty and a blankness worthy of my ambivalent mind,
Coating each inch of the walls
And floors
And ceiling
With the rigid inveteracy of silence.

Empty faces, first, empty;
Until SONG dug its nails into the calloused stillness
And carved until it could peek through the hole it had dug–
Until the warmth of its breath melted away the remainder–
Until the saccharine life of the guitar
Reached translucent fingers from behind the seventh fret
And opened not their eyes by my own.

Honeyed SONG seeping through their lifted fingers,
Echoing in every corner of their prisoning chests.
Behind legs that could not run,
Behind arms that could not rise,
Behind lips that neglect the release of words amassed
Just under their tongue;
Behind the iron lock of distorted childhood
Are the children with whom we interlock our hands,
And submit to the willful motion of SONG,
And allow our eyes, ignorant by the blinding tar of normalcy,
To recognize that these children
Are as colorful as the colors woven around our wrists.