32. What remains unseen

The Jews had already agreed that if any one should confess him to be the Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue…. So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that thought I was blind, now I see…. Never since the world began has it been heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. —John 9:22,24–25,32–34

It is hard to remember the darkness.
At night I hear the sounds—
the clink of coins on stone,
the hollow footsteps of the hurried.
Muttered sympathies—or epithets—
a young girl singing from a door, as if to me.
The breathing of cattle when I slept in stables.
Even the rain fell louder,
each drop a conversation.
And the feel of it on my face!
They thought me mad,
looking into storms with empty eyes.
I have not learned to dream in light.

Sometimes I close my eyes and only listen,
feeling my way on hands and bloodied knees,
but nothing sounds as I remember.
My lids flick open of their own accord.

I stand outside the town and wait for work
with all the others. They do not stand too close.
Wagons pass us by in clouds of dust
that look just as they used to taste.

Half a man, I had their pity;
healed, I’ve earned their hate.
Seeing, I remain unseen.

This entry was posted in Graces and Laments, Poems and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply