A Cause Célèbre
When Gehrig lost his budding baseball fame,
and two years later, his life to it—
surely ‘amyotrophic lateral sclerosis’
was the buzzword on the tongue of all America.
The disease that fell the Iron Horse.
When the neurons stop their cosmic synapses
and steal a man’s movement—
would the whole world stop too?
Hawking’s mind, vibrant with new science,
betrays the decaying figure in the chair,
the limp limbs, slow speech of a machine—
a genius caged inside himself,
his body, a black hole shrinking with time.
Progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative.
The brain is sharp, the body declines,
fights itself, becomes a brick wall.
Only the eyes are spared.