Tuesday, 13 April 2010

eyes of an apologetic blue

Diagnosed at eight years old
my first glasses gave me planes
in the sky, the ability
to spot at ten yards
the stubble on my father's face,

the delineation of each tree
on hills no longer just a blue wash.
At first I was a novelty,
the freckled kid in glasses,
then, the teenager

with eyes behind lenses so thick
they looked like those of a crab's.
Later I was told I needed contacts
to be set free
to see in the rain.

Now age is a factor, my optician says
as he rolls away the robot face
and enters the latest data
in a book started forty years ago,
before computers.

Half-filled now, worn
with writing and thin numbers
only he can understand,
it has long traced and calculated
the transit of my eyesight.

I look down, see my feet
tidily stashed on the chair's high step.
Like the easy child,
they've never given me any trouble,
unlike my eyes

that when I look in the mirror,
stare back,
looking old, surrounded
by signs of erosion, and wanting
to say sorry.

Kay McKenzie Cooke


Paul Halpern said...

Very enjoyable poem, Kay! I can relate to it very well.

Catherine said...

I love the last stanza. I've never bothered with contacts myself, and it's too late now - they don't make them as bifocals!

Agnes said...

Your poems are so lovely Kay.

Mary McCallum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary McCallum said...

just wanted to say 'terrific' (don't know what happened with that last comment!)

Pam Morrison said...

Lovely poem Kay. Those feet, like an easy child (lucky you) and the eyes that want to say sorry. Fantastic!

Claire Beynon said...

A beautiful poem, Kay, from the title to the last full stop. I especially love the way you say your first glasses gave you planes and the ability to spot the stubble on your father's face!
My Dad is colour-blind (or, colour-different as we'd say today), as are my two sons. I can remember wishing like mad that I could swap eyes with my father for a day - even for an hour - just to see the world the way he did. Your poem reminded me of that child's curiosity. Thanks!

Pen said...

I love the idea of the book of your eyes ... (time to get mine checked, and start my own). Nice poem.

McDinzie said...

yeah damn eyes.....for me its the gradual lens that I now have to adjust to....grrrrr.

McDinzie said...

yeah damn eyes.....for me its the gradual lens that I now have to adjust to....grrrrr.

McDinzie said...

see eyes so bad that I didnt even see that I had posted that comment already...........

Kay Cooke said...

Paul- Thanks for your visit and kind comments & myopic solidarity.

Catherine - It's got quite complicated for me with glasses AND contacts - I think we talked about it when we met before the reading in Chch last month.

Agnes - So are you.

Mary - Thanks so much.

Pam- Thanks - somehow I felt I needed to include my feet!

Claire - That's lovely - a poem is lying somewhere in that charming memory of yours, I believe!

Pen- Somehow I like that my optician has this long and faithful written record.

Kay Cooke said...

McD - Ha that is so funny!

Claire Beynon said...

Lovely to see you at Circ. Rhythm, too, Kay... And Robert. It was a surprising and entertaining evening! L, C
(a poem about borrowing my father's eyes? Why ever not? I'll def. give the idea some thought, thanks!)

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

An admirable poem! In fact, everything about you is admirable, even your eyes!

Kay Cooke said...

Claire - Yes, it's a perfect Claire-poem.

Joyce - You too! :)

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