by Lisa Kozlik
Everyday, strangers pass me by
without saying a word.
They use their voices to speak OF me,
- but don't take the time to speak WITH me.
I wonder why.
As I walk along the sidewalk, one person says to another, "Look at her."
- they are pointing at me.
Suddenly, the voice disappears.
Where did it go?
I don't know.
While I'm in the mall shopping with friends
another voice says, "Look at her."
- they are talking about me.
But who spoke those words?
I never found out.
What I cannot see and hear,
I experience through touch.
Why isn't this good enough
for those of you who pass me by?
Sign language is my communication with the world,
- just like the voices you use to speak of me.
Braille is my "information highway" to the world,
- just like the fingers you use to point at me.
The next time you see me,
just don't look at me
- get to know me.
About the Author.
My name is Lisa Kozlik. I am a 29-year old college student from Wisconsin. I am also deaf-blind. I have light perception and a severe hearing loss. My blindness and hearing impairment were caused by premature birth complications. I have been a dog guide user for the past 8 years.
My current guide is a three-year old yellow lab from Leader Dogs. Five years ago, I sought training at the Center for Deaf-Blind Persons in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their help and support have given me the strength to believe in myself and to share this poem with you, the readers of Deaf-Blind Perspectives.
This Poem is from DB-LINK, National Information Clearinghouse On Children Who Are Deaf-Blind. and the Poem was published in Volume 8, issue 1 Fall 2000. of the Deaf-Blind Perspectives Newsletter.