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20-20a Westminster Buildings, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 6LG(0115) 888 2828

Lion Heart – A Poem by T.M. Barker

Written by Ben Leach on

The reason for my writing this poem was initially for a competition. The remit was “My Disabled World”.

We were asked to write about our lockdown experience. It turns out that I didn’t win the competition! So, after a few colleagues/friends saw it and said it was so powerful, thought-provoking and strong, I thought that I would release it to highlight the work of an amazing charity that I have benefited from hugely over the years, @RevitaliseNow.

With the help of a lovely colleague we made the video to go with the poem and the rest is history! I believe passionately in what RevitaliseNow do with every fibre of my being.

I also feel that the pandemic has really made disabled people feel more invisible and disempowered as a result of it – hopefully, this video will make people feel differently. I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all those who are responsible for such a positive response so far! It truly has given those with disabilities a voice! 

Lion Heart

A smile and pink rosy cheeks stare back at me, 
Heart full of courage, strength and fragility, 
Fuelled by a love of humanity and family, 
All wrapped up with a tag saying disability.

Life is a Marathon but there will be no finish line, 
I own my cards and I will roll my dice, 
Ordinary girl less than ordinary life, 
Fiercely independent fought for my whole life.

Covid 19 and society don’t wipe me away, 
Tears fall as I wonder if you will ever again ask me my name, 
My delicate heart has no place to hide. 
My smile and pink rosy cheeks ready to do battle for another mile...

Is inclusion, touch and love even meant for me, 
Clean your mirror and you will see, 
Those with disabilities have a story like you and I, 
Open your eyes and don’t listen to your lies.

Disability must replace inviability, 
The lion within won’t stay silent for another day. 
My name is Toni-Marie just an ordinary girl with a disability.