December 12, 2011

A Woman Going Blind

Woman in a Dark Dress

She sat quite like the others, having tea.
She seemed, I noted, to hold her cup
somewhat differently from the others.
She smiled once. It almost hurt to see.

When everyone stood at the end and moved about,
chatting and laughing, and as it happened,
drifting through the rooms of the house,
I watched her. She followed after,

holding back a little, as if she feared
to draw attention to herself.
On her eyes, bright with happiness,
light shone as on the surface of a pond.

She moved at her own pace and took her time
as though there were something yet to be learned;
some threshold, which once she crossed over,
she would no longer feel her way, but fly.

New Poems


  1. The drawing,although cool,elicits grave feelings in me. Her eyes seem weary,deep contemplation. The corners of her mouth suggest sadness. In the poem she seems tentative and cautious, but her eyes are "bright with happiness". The fact that she will" no longer feel her way, but fly" leaves me feeling hopeful. I like the pairing of the poem with the picture and the mixture of emotions it created.

  2. Herringbone, I'm glad you felt that hopefulness after reading the poem, and at first noting the sadness in the eyes of the woman in the drawing. This is what I felt, too, in the pairing. The image gives one impression—perhaps the impression many of us have of any person at first glance, projecting our own imagined reality. Then with a bit of attention, we can see something quite different.

  3. I agree, Ruth. So often we feel sorry for someone with a disability, and in fact their reality is different from what we project. They have found blessings in their loss that we can not imagine.

  4. such promise for us all in this.



"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Go ahead, bloom recklessly!