Science  Write  Now

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My poverty enclosed me like an iron lung, but

 so young then, I didn’t understand the disease. 

At school my head stuck out of the classroom 

window; I was more outside of myself, than in. 

The machine was breathing for me, so they said. 

How clever that they taught this automaton how 

to feel for me too; the wash of miracle electricity 

that fed the contraption & forced air out my lungs

like a leather bellows gasping in an elvish smithy.

My nan had polio as a child; it left her legs twisted

as liquorice. In old age it bent her back, more bullish

than gravity. When I mentioned this to my class the 

other day, they looked at me, blank. Their health & 

wealth taken for granted; like how the living spend.