Lorraine Cannistra

Honorable Mention 2006 Novice Christian Poetry Contest $50

I am a writer, mediator and disability awareness specialist.  I live in a small apartment with Marshall, the world’s best service dog! 

I wrote this poem after I read the first book by Joni Eareckson.  After she was paralyzed in a diving accident, a friend told her that her body, in a wheelchair, was just the frame of God’s portrait of her.  People don’t go to art galleries to admire the frames.  They focus on the quality and character of the painting.

That concept had special meaning for me since I have been affected by Cerebral Palsy since birth and get around using a wheelchair.  It was that concept that inspired my poem.  I am honored to be in the company of such talented writers and poets!

Simply the Frame

Sometimes I feel trapped inside
My prison of four wheels
People say they understand
But they don’t know how it feels
I don’t want to be treated differently
I don’t want special care
Why won’t people treat me like me
Instead of a person in a chair
I feel so sad and lonely
And I’m a bit confused
Of all people who could have had C. P.
Why was it me God had to choose?
His answer comes so gently
I’ve known it all along
“I didn’t choose you to be cruel, My child,
I chose you because you’re strong
Think about the someday soon
When we’ll be side by side
I’ll watch you walk so gracefully
My heart will swell with pride
And even though in this life on earth
Your situation may never change
In the beautiful picture I’ve painted of you
Your wheelchair is simply the frame.”

Copyright 2006 Lorraine Cannistra