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

have multiplied,

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

highlights flaws

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)

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