You see me staring in space, listening to the

          distant elevator slam to a halt, the waves

          chasing the sandpipers, the caterpillar

          escaping the cocoon, the wings of the

          butterfly barely moving the air,

          an egg cracking with new life, the fetus

          tapping its legs in the womb.


          I am looking and listening to new life and

          I can take you to sights and sounds you have

          never known and meanings you have never thought,

          or tell you what color car belongs to every

          teacher and who was late on Tuesday if

          you ask.


          I ask only to be new born.








          You see me sitting there and walking there

          and running there, and jumping there, and

          touching there and before long you sense

          my cadence, but not my purpose.

          I am a parade of one, the drum major and

          the marcher, stepping, tapping,

          seeking, moving always to my

          music, which you do not hear, which you

          do not understand, which I cannot escape,

          a walkman perpetually in my ears.

          Wave no flags.

          Sound no cheers.

          March with me.

          We can be a parade of two,

          stepping into silence.








          Peter walked, dragging the sidewalk behind,

          he climbed ramps at a precipitous angle,

          a tortuous foot at a time,

          his legs drained of blood,

          his muscles turning to sponge,

          while the $75,000 elevator built for him

          with the padded walls from top to bottom,

          hung like a bell in its shaft,

          an artifact for the ages.


          Peter walked, dragging the sidewalk behind,

          never asked if he wanted an elevator.

          The key dangling like a talisman around his



          Peter chose to be tied to earth,

          hanging on when it tilted,

          his journey measured in half steps,

          his will expressed inches at a time.


                                                                                    Paul Paparella