post Cataract Surgery
With new eyes, I discover
dust has invaded my home,
infesting bookshelves, picture frames,
computer screens, lamps, baseboards…
and nooks and crannies it had not,
to my knowledge, ever crept into before.
Handprints decorate the walls
beside previously unseen peeling paint
and hairline cracks in the gyprock.
The wrinkles on my face and neck
and ones I had been aware of
have deepened into furrows.
So I leave my house and my mirror
and go outside
where the scenery that surrounds me
is no longer one-dimensional.
Hills sit in front of majestic mountains
where they used to.
Rocky peaks capped with snow
no longer line up side by side
but arrange themselves around gorges and valleys,
staggered to gain access to the sunlight
that has not been this bright in years.
And trees and shrubs and rocks and grass
decorate the hillside,
each with their own hues
and textures I want to reach up and touch.
I walk the trails
and gray birds that once flew overhead
or perched among the branches of tall trees,
remarkable only by their songs,
now have white bars on brightly colored wings
and sometimes an ebony necklace,
dark against a creamy neck,
and complete eye rings—
they even have eyes.
Leaves and needles and grass and moss
display themselves in more shades of green
than were ever in my box of crayons.
Were the colors of flowers and autumn leaves
ever as vivid as they are now?
I return home when sunlight no longer
I don’t wish to see.
And someday, perhaps,
when the mountains and hills and trees
disappear behind clouds,
and the wind howls,
and the temperature plummets,
I will deal with the dust and the handprints.
And maybe, perhaps, one day,
I will deal with the peeling paint.
And the wrinkles?
I’ve earned them—
and worrying only brings more.
...Merilyn Ruth Liddell (Dec.2017)