Two readings from today that really stood out to me were Don’t Mourn For Us by Jim Sinclair and Apologies to my OB-GYN by Rebecca Foust. Specifically, the the relationships between disabilities and society that is seen within the two pieces. With his piece, Sinclair portrays to readers how society influences the way in which a parent. reacts to their child being diagnosed with. autism. He mentions that oftentimes parents see their kid being diagnosed as autistic as some king of “great. tragedy” but then immediately. follows that up with. saying that the parents are more upset by the idea of not having what society would consider to be a “normal” child than their kid actually being autistic. This ferocious follow up allows Sinclair to paint to readers, an image that society molds the way an individual reacts to receiving a diagnosis. Sinclair further develops this idea by saying that. autism is “not an appendage,” it is “not a impenetrable wall,” and it is not “death.” Sinclair mentions that to view autism as a sort of “shell” that a person wears, is to essentially wish that the autistic child they have did not exist, and that they had a different, non-autistic child instead.
With her poem, Rebecca Foust touches on the pressures that society forces the families of disabled individuals to face. Specifically, Foust does so by having a mother apologize for and address the ways in which her physically disabled newborn son creates issues for the abled bodied individuals around them. The first example of this is seen in the very first stanza when Foust states “sorry that my boy birthed himself too early,” something that no mother should feel the need to apologize for, yet due to the increasing pressures of society, this mother feels obliged to apologize for it. Another example is seen in the opening lines of the second stanza when she states “sorry we were such pains in your ass asking you to answer our night calls like that.” This is yet again something that no individual should feel the need to apologize for (I mean after all answering calls regardless of the time is part of the nurses’ job) and yet, this mother feels the need to. I would. argue that the most telling line of the poem comes near the end of the poem when our speaker says “sorry he took so much of your time / being so determined to live.” Here Foust essentially speaks on the entire point of this poem, that these individuals are in a fight for their lives and society is doing nothing to help but make them feel pressured and like some sort of inconvenience.
I’m interested in what you guys thought of the readings or if you interpreted them in a different way than I did so feel free to leave your comments below!