Chapbook: More Than What You See-Giving Notice

I would have given a notice of disability
to my last professor
in my college career
but I knew I wasn’t going to need it.

One day that professor
asked me to read a paragraph
to the class.
I sat there stalling for time before reading
trying to calm the nervous heat
that crawled up my neck.
(Maybe I should have given him the notice.)
I thought before I began.
I heard a voice reading with ease
slow, a little awkward,
but not stalling
until the word “abide”
and someone quickly
saved me. I thanked them
and kept going.

When I was done I waited
for the stares in my direction,
to feel the shame
and embarrassment
but none of it happened.
I used to agonize over those situations
analyzing what I did wrong
and how I could have done it all differently.
I didn’t do any of that.

-Silvaan Ruth-

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