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Built Different

For B

By Sam

Listen to this lesson:
Some are just
Built Different.

So there really is no reason
to look at them and judge.

And assume that all these people
are "normal" just like you
So they must act the way you do

Let’s take a moment to pause…

Let’s say: 
you've ever looked at someone
sitting in the reserved seat —
on buses and MRTs —
and thought they look fine
(at least on the outside)

Just take a moment to pause…

And think of how some people 
are just Built Different
they may suffer in ways
that you simply don't
like when their blood —
its sugar levels are too high or low
— it's lonely enough for them, trying to cope
and having to explain themselves a lot
settles weariness through their bones.  

And if you feel concerned for them —
still, that’s not an invite
for you to throw them a pity party
with unsolicited advice.
Sometimes it's enough to simply be 
there to keep them company
to co-exist, honoring their feelings and stories
so their pain starts to ease
like lanterns in the night.

Even as the body undoes itself,
may this light be gathered into a community.
We don’t have to understand each other perfectly.
But those old ways and assumptions that distance us,
it’s time to let them go……

Perhaps together we can realize
a world that’s Built Different.

Author's Note

It was inspiring to hear B mention that a part of why she was born and why she went through her journey grappling with Type 1 Diabetes — was so that she can create something to support those like her who are dealing with a chronic illness. Through this poem, I hoped to capture her work in not only elevating the voices and experiences of those living with Type 1 Diabetes but also exploring what people around them can do to alleviate the often “invisible” pain that they are living with.

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