Tag Archives: brave

Not so different, he and I

He was an older teen, blind and paraplegic,
with slurred and inarticulate speech
and strapped atop a sled with a single ski
that was being slowly tortured down
the bunny slope in wide, graceful arcs
by a volunteer.

Clearly, it terrified the poor child,
you could hear him all over the hill.
He was screaming like one of the damned,
his breath coming spasmodically,
his body twitching to and fro, wanting
to be done with it, wanting to be gone,
wanting to be someplace, anyplace,
as long as that place was elsewhere.
But then, at the bottom, breathless,
by then bouncing in his seat,
I heard him say it: Again!
And then even louder, Again! Again!


The incident that sparked this story happened at the Sunday River ski resort in Newry, Maine, where my wife and I recently vacationed. The last time we were there in 2012 the Once Skiing poem came out it.

The photograph was shot on this recent skiing trip. It is a selfie taken in a double paned window at the base lodge. (That’s a plastic sleeve over the camera to protect it from the falling snow.) To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.


Photograph, poem and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © John Etheridge,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.


Filed under Poetry