O human legs

Creative Future, a local charity that works with marginalized and disabled writers ran a creative writing course at Brighton Museum in January. The following piece is one of the many great pieces of writing that came out of the course. More of the participants’ work can be read in the pamphlet Museum Tales on sale now at the Brighton Museum shop, price £5.

Creative Future run the creative writing workshops in partnership with Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

Museum Tales, Poems and prose inspired by artefacts in Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
Museum Tales, Poems and prose inspired by artefacts in Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

On the way here I saw a man with only one leg.

This sounds like a joke – but it’s not.

I keep seeing people with only one leg and, when I do,

I think of the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore sketch –

a one-legged man auditioning for the role of Tarzan.

But this is not

about a joke.

This is about me thinking about people who have a limb missing, and

whether they should cut their clothes

– in this case trousers –

to reflect the fact

or let the extra –

the unrequired material –

dangle, or flap.

Or fold, and stitch it neatly, hiding the end.

Or make it short

and be proud of the stump,

saying – in effect –

this is who I am.

I’m not deficient in any way,

I’m not trying to fill clothes designed for another type

this is who I am –

exactly that: a one-legged

person

whose strangeness I

sing.

Amanda Geary

August 2012

‘O human legs’ was inspired by a ‘warm up exercise’ on the body.

Leave a Reply