Join Diane (who provided the topic), MotherOwl, Mimi, Merry Mae and me as we polish our thoughts on glasses of any kind, whether the ones you wear or the ones from which you drink. You can leave your poem in the comments or post on your own blog; if you do the latter, please leave a comment so we can track you down. Use the topic, or choose another; the objective is to have fun and work our brains :)
I've worn glasses since I was eight years old.
Those glasses came in the iconic frames from each decade: cat's-eye in the sixties, wire granny glasses in the seventies, the huge window panes and heavy frames of the eighties, the wire frames (again) in the nineties, the half-rimless specs and the very small lenses of the first decade of the new century, which -- may I say -- were the absolute worst, even worse than cat's eye frames, because it was like looking through a peephole, fer cryin' out loud.
Currently I am wearing super-light frames made from a strong and flexible metal that I'm awfully glad I chose when I had the chance, because I recently stepped on them and they didn't even get bent, let alone break.
Let me pause here to painfully remember how many times I broke either the bridge or the earpiece of plastic frames when I was a kid, and wore taped-up glasses to school for weeks while waiting for a replacement. Any of you who wore the same kind of frames in the same time period of your life probably know what I'm talking about.
Over the years, my lenses have gone from coke-bottle-thick to ultra-thin due to industry improvements and also due to my cataract surgery that installed partially-corrective artificial lenses in my peepers, allowing me -- for the first time since I was that eight-year-old child -- to get up in the morning without needing to slap on my spectacles first.
But recently I have wished with all my heart for a new kind of glasses -- the kind that would help me see into other people's wounded hearts and minds, and make me a kinder, more understanding person.
Especially with my mom. She is suffering cognitive decline, which includes both memory loss and impaired logical thinking. She will ask me the same questions over and over, some of them intrusive and overbearing and some of them just annoying. Most of the time I just give the same answers over and over, but sometimes, for whatever reason -- if I'm feeling unwell, or tired, or in a time crunch, or just because I want my old mom back -- I will hotly point out that she's asked that same exact question several times already. Then her mask of self-sufficiency slips, she laughs vaguely and says, yes, you are right, and I feel like a monster for saying aloud what her faulty memory is allowing her to forget.
This week's poem is about the vision I need at this stage in my life as a daughter.
In Which I Also Make Excuses, And Feel Guilty
Her eyes, once so sharp, once so clear and so blue
Are watery now, and a hazier hue.
She searches for words and forgets people's names,
And tells the same stories again and again.
I tell myself patience I'd easier find
If only she'd listen to my keener mind,
If only she'd do what I've planned she should do,
If only her stubbornness she would subdue . . .
But she's always been feisty, relied on herself,
Used her own brain, made her choices on health.
And even though now her thought processes fail
She doesn't want help and her word must prevail.
And so I am set off by trivial things,
And fail to allow for the changes age brings:
The lapses in memory, and constant repeats --
The deficits youthful minds scorn and defeat.
I wish I could see the pathways in Mom's brain:
The damage . . . short-circuits . . . cells circling the drain.
But insight's elusive . . . flawed vision, you know . . .
How I wish there were glasses to help make it so.
Next week's topic will be ............ NEIGHBOURS (or "neighbors" without the "u", if you insist :))
Have a good week, everyone.