Featured Poem:

The Motions of the Dipping Birds

Because I can no longer see
her face, when my daughter talks I watch

her small hands rise and fall,
sweep the air, flutter.

I marvel at the soft feathers her fingers make
as they soar then circle then settle

on the perch of her hips waiting
to return to the sky for another story.

(Door is a Jar, Winter 2023)

This poem is part of a series about how I see as I lose my central vision and rely on my peripheral. The title comes from a line in one of my favorite Emily Dickinson “vision” poems, “Before I got my eye put out –“. When I turned to poetry to help make sense of my declining vision in 2017, I found Emily Dickinson. Her descriptions of vision and vision loss are stunning in their accuracy.

As with almost all of my poems, this one started as a log entry in my moving while writing and writing while moving online journal, RUN!:

Speaking of not seeing faces, this morning my daughter was talking to me. I was sitting at my desk, she was on the couch, in the shadows. Looking at her for several minutes as she told me about her homework, I couldn’t see her facial features at all. Her head was a shadowy blob with hair. I could, however, see her hand gestures. Her small, graceful hands waved and pointed and flexed and reached out as she discussed her assignment. I did not need to see her face or her eyes to understand her.

log entry on 9 april 2020