Aught, no. 15 (2006)


rob mclennan

blindness: seven poems for kate

“I want to give everything to this burnt flower: I’ve nothing;
I bury my face; set it in water.”
     — John Thompson, Stiltjack

“Optometry begins with an I.”
     — Jason Christie

this is not an explanation, but
a small degree

when crossing the street, looks left, & then
not as left

would you mind if i revised
my statement, thing

it doesnt matter if you can ride
your bicycle

leans to one side, just like
her mother

after the optician, now
we follow

 

II

some light & some shapes, but
little more

on the darker side
of her

one half of her signature
scarred

not that it seems
to bother

more us
than her

both shaken
& stirred

but then her other, what since
long improved

the border she stops at
further abroad

 

III

where does she walk, favouring
one side

a distance that goes further
into detail

what she would have lost,
just yesterday

the rain erases snow
from her backyard

the sun on her forearm

a hard knock rings
her kitchen window

this is the sheetmusic
of her youth

 

IV

forget her comments abt
peg-leg, or patch

my child

blind in one eye, & drunk
on chocolate

would she drive me around
when im eighty

her mother says, you wont
live that long

we pick
at last nights food

we look out
over long communion

 

V

looks good, in new blue glasses

unknown where the scratch came, fall
or something viral

all ahead me now, begins
to slowly fade

my age, by decreasing inch

where blood mixes thick
w/ saliva

what chance did she have, genetics
can be cruel

a stretch of grey

thick dark hair & a penchant
for oddities

 

VI

she says: what do you know, yr
too old

or was that me

& shes too young, for
consequences

rolling her eyes at what,
a mere suggestion

suddenly, the sheer confidence
of youth

& glasses match, her new
blue coat

what she has come thru
so far

 

VII

this is a darkness
that conveys a sense

of certain light, a thing
in recent memory

a colour that translates
a shape against the skin

or rightness, when remembered
w/ some

into the descriptiveness
of seeing

what had not been there
before

 

April ‘02
Ottawa

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Copyright 2006, by the author. All rights reserved.
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