Cataract

Where my eyeball used to be

there is a glass with a fog

everything is fogged – the jacarandas

crying their purple tears

 

like soft rain they splash

blurring outlines, roads run

into one another crying mauve war cries

once I was young, believe me

history does not lie – between my forefinger

and my thumb I bent spoons

soft metal, soft as butter

 

I try on pairs of glasses, walk chalk lines

across a quadrangle – look, here

is a pathway I used every day to school

now obscured by dust and rubble

look, I see as clearly as a chameleon

holding on to leaves, my sticky tongue

climbs to the highest branches

touching lilac blossoms

I carefully slide down, know the way by heart

 

On page eighty of my notebook lives my grandmother

wearing horn-rimmed glasses like a man

I can’t see her but she’s there I know

each night she puts her dentures in a glass of water

it’s blurred but I can see them quite well

floating behind a mist of bubbles

 

A wise woman, she read her bible, had a saying

for every occasion – her favorite from Robbie Burns

“O, wad some Power the giftie gie us”

(wiping her bifocals with a lavender handkerchief)

“To see oursels as others see us!”

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© Johnmichael Simon

2013

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