VISION by Llewellyn McKernan, poet

Vision comes only when I’m blind.

Then I touch each thing to see if it’s mine.

I smell the roses before they bloom.

I chew its wisdom, then swallow my food.

I hear water babies in the creek

splash when they play, rock in their sleep.

I listen to pollen, kneaded full-grown

to honey purling in waxen combs.

I hear music shaped just for my ears,

enclosing the far in the very near. I follow

the light by the warmth on my skin. To the edge

of the sunset I take it in. Twilight has footsteps

that follow me home. Night has a face I mold with

my thumb. Bed is a feather that teases the air.

Sleep is a silence that drifts without care

on dreams

that move from earth to attic, from Medusa’s stone face

to Mary’s — ecstatic. Though I am blind,

still I can see how the madness of murder

turns to the sweet sun-ripened spirit, heady as wine.

I breathe a perfume made just in time.

I touch all the hills I used to know.

Black elephants I called them.

Now they are snow.

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