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Charles Harper Webb

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Blind


It's okay if the world goes with Venetian;
Who cares what Italians don't see?--
Or with Man's Bluff (a temporary problem
Healed by shrieks and cheating)--or with date:
Three hours of squirming repaid by laughs for years.

But when an old woman, already deaf,
Wakes from a night of headaches, and the dark
Won't disappear--when doctors call like tedious
Birds, "If only..." up and down hospital halls--
When, long-distance, I hear her say, "Don't worry.

Honey, I'll be fine," is it a wonder
If my mind speeds down blind alleys?
If the adage "Love is blind" has never seemed
So true? If, in a flash of blinding light
I see Justice drop her scales, yank off

Her blindfold, stand revealed--a monster-god
With spidery arms and a mouth like a black hole--
While I leap, ant-sized, at her feet, blinded
By tears, raging blindly as, sense by sense,
My mother is sucked away?

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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