When I talk with the man with no arms
I think of the crow with no hands, fingers
using a beak to create a home, feed its
young, navigate the water it calls life.
The man with no arms has a mouth, legs,
feet and a mind that we humans esteem
as being far beyond the bird, the ground-
hog, the catfish bottom-feeding its way
each day. Maybe the man with no arms
needs wings, fins, a row of buck teeth
to gnaw and chew his way underground.
One never knows what ingenuity one can
create if given the right situation and, of
course, the tools, always the tools, that
lead the mind to fill the gap, straighten
the dent, align the front end, so important
to good handling on those bumpy roads.
Marc Swan is a vocational rehabilitation counselor living on Munjoy Hill in Portland Maine. His work has been published in Common Ground, Gargoyle, Black Bear Review, Slipstream, and Westerly, among others. Simple Distraction, a collection of his poems from 1989 to 2009, was published in fall 2009 by tall-lighthouse in London, England.