Someone or something having a disability.

In most cases, this is the term generally concidered acceptable among those with disabilities and is used in governmental and legal definitions. Naturally, politically correct zealots have taken offence at the overly literal (read: anal) definition and have coined empty phrases such as: Differently Able, dis-labled, handi-capable, mentally challenged, etc. If you are looking to be insulting, see: gimp.

See also: handicapped.

This poem, by Wilfred Owen is, in my opinion one of the most powerful pieces of anti-war writing I have ever seen. It’s cold, uncompromising, brutal.

The boy, (and Owen clearly states that he is a boy, underage) has thrown his future away for vanity, excitement, glory, all the lies, with no thought for the consequences – and he has been allowed, even encouraged, to do so by a government which counts the human cost of war as carelessly as the boy did.

There is no glorious death here, no award for gallantry, no sad remembrance – but the boy who went to war was is no less dead than his fallen comrades, all that is left is a cripple who has to continue to exist reduced to an object of pity.

For a more modern treatment of this theme, see Eric Bogle's song The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.

He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.

About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light-blue trees
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim,
-- In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands,
All of them touch him like some queer disease.

There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race,
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.
One time he liked a bloodsmear down his leg,
After the matches carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. He wonders why . . .
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts.

That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts,
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years.
Germans he scarcely thought of; and no fears
Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.

Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul.
Now, he will spend a few sick years in Institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
To-night he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come?


I once worked at a Living Center,

a resource place for the disabled.


There were people there in wheelchairs,

people who were deaf, or blind,

people who walked with a cane.


They were challenged,

they were impaired.

But they were strong,

stronger than I’ll ever be.


One day a blind girl said to me,

are you alright?


A deaf man asked me what was wrong.


I could not say, what I love,

I tear apart.

What I need, I throw away.


I told the blind girl, I’m just fine.

Told the deaf man, nothing’s wrong.


I could not say, I envy you.


In your wheelchairs.


With your canes.

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