for Helen.

for when the light goes dark and the sounds silent,
it is hard to see but any hope.
communication turned difficult;
more sights went unseen, more voices unheard.
her lost abilities were not just a loss of sense;
they were a loss of personality, of humility.
it hindered her, alienated her, separated her.
"how," they wondered, "can someone like she succeed?"
"blind and deaf--whatever good could come from that?"
but she persisted, she learned, she adapted.
the water faucet and spelled-out letters on a hand,
a twist on education under the Alabama sun,
were the start of fulfilling one's destiny.
and indeed did she use her new skills,
continued as if she truly could see, could hear.
others doubted her, but that was not the end,
for Helen stepped on that stage and spoke,
facing the crowd although she could not see,
addressing them although she could not hear the words
her mouth created...
"dear Lions and Ladies: I suppose you have heard
the legend that represents opportunity
as a capricious lady..."
Helen spoke. Helen heard. Helen preached.
an inspiration to all, can't you see?

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