Hi, I’m the Super Crip.

I was created by you, the nondisabled,

to help you cope

with my differences


the realization

that I might be

like you

is simply

too difficult

to grasp.


The Super Crip

is what allows you to expect

for me

to overcome


because even the impossible

becomes doable and possible,

and “can’t” is not in the dictionary

even though

it is.


The Super Crip allows you to paint

a different version of me–

one that places me


of the pity box

you imagine my life to be

simply because I’m disabled.


The Super Crip

allows you to justify

the generalization

of what you decide my abilities to be

because the Super Crip lets you think

you know the needs of all disabled people

because you know about the needs of one,

and in your able-bodied mind

we’re all the same and we can all overcome

whatever struggle we face, whatever battle,

and do so with a smile

because if we don’t smile through our pain,

it must be because we’re bitter about being disabled

or we haven’t found Jesus….or both.


Lord, have mercy! If you can’t fix my body,

at least you can fix my broken soul.

The Super Crip

allows you to think that

because you see my disability

as something that makes me incomplete

and you try to fill the void you imagine I have

because you can’t conceive the thought

of happiness in my disabled body

in my disabled life,


But nobody, not even the Super Crip version of me

you have invented

has ever represented the true wholeness of me.

You don’t have the right

to try to fix my life only because you think

it’s broken.


But that’s what the Super Crip does.

It lets nondisabled people believe it’s alright

to say shit like:

“I don’t see your disability.”

“You don’t let your differences stop you from loving life.”

“You don’t act disabled.”

“All disabled people should be like you.”

“You’re not handicapped! You’re handicapable!”

and other ridiculous crap that makes disabled people cringe

or laugh

or both.


But the Super Crip doesn’t stop there

because while it helps YOU cope with OUR struggles,

the Super Crip becomes

another form of ableism in our lives

another set of lies

we must eventually unlearn, but until then,

the Super Crip makes

disabled people believe

we have to do things

the able-bodied way, and some go out of their way

to prove themselves able, and struggle with shit like

trying to type without hands, or

refusing to use a wheelchair

although they desperately need one.

The Super Crip doesn’t care.

It wants able-bodiedness from crips

It wants bits and pieces and clips

of able-bodiedness we don’t have

just so the able-bodied can have

peace of mind when they deal

with our differences.





Maria R. Palacios 2017