Poem by Richard L. Daggett

Richard Lloyd Daggett; 1954; Rancho LosAmigos, Los Angeles , California

These are my braces,
They set me free
But these are my braces,
They are not me.

Without my braces,
I sit in my chair
Without my braces,
Life is not fair.

But, put on my braces,
And I’m just like the others.
Put on my braces,
And I run like my brothers.

Well, not exactly,
I’ll have to admit, no.
Well, not exactly,
’cause I had polio

I wrote this poem in May – June 1954, when Iwas finally able to sit in a wheelchair and walk short distances. I was thirteen years old. Before polio I was left handed, but my left hand was no longer strong enough to hold a pen or pencil. I had to learn to write with my right hand. The school teacher at Rancho  Los Amigos  Hospital knew I liked poetry and encouraged me to compose poems as an exercise.

Courtesy of Post-Polio Health International

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