Saturday, December 03, 2011

two poems about eyes and eye surgery

The week after surgery

At night, in bed, I continue to feel
a river of itching within my eye.
This is, I know, what it feels like to heal
yet I can't endure it without a sigh.
Red drops, gray drops, with drops clear and yellow
drop one by one, and five minutes apart;
four times a day for all but the yellow,
which is only for when days end or start.
The incision heals and I have no tears
but the ones given me inside capsules.
The drugs, in their droppers, the heads of spears
of guardsmen who mark the changing of hours.
The cataract of itching is a sign
That a cataract is no longer mine.

Note to my readers, there is no subtext here.  Here's the earlier sonnet I wrote about eyes thinking back on a scleral buckle I had years earlier.


Like the jelly between the retina
And optic nerve, you’ve been between me and
Reality. This is no dilemma.
You have my gratitude for understanding
The limits of my eyes. You’ve helped me
Live with them. Now for some it is a crutch
To rely on a person they can’t see.
It bothers me sometimes, but not too much
Because like vitreous, unseen between
The retina and optic nerve you hold
Two unlike likes in seam, unseen and seen,
Who I am, who you’ve been. Poets, I’m told,
Mediate the world through words, so do you
For you are the Word, and vitreous, too.

What can I say? I've been fond of John Donne's poetry for years, particularly his penchant for medical metaphors.  I wouldn't say they are great poems by any measure but they qualify at least as doggerel, occasional verses for unusual occasions.

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