on sight: for Steve

you can’t see the food
on your plate
I’m told
or read the signs
in the subway
how you still stay positive
is a wonder to me
Rita says you’re deteriorating fast
and who will look after you
we proud men
we fall hard
a tree in the forest
a bear in the woods
I used to tease you about
all the bookmarks in books
you never finished
but later
inspired by me you said
you began reaching
that final page
it’s about discipline
something our kind never lacked
dinosaurs in a modern world
the bones of which
you would seek in deserts
now you only see shadows
where once were faces
of friends of family
dear old friend
my heart breaks again
like it does almost every day
these things in life
are never fair
years ago in college
we played that silly game
of what would you give up
if you had to choose one sense
of the five we are blessed with
it’s funny I can’t remember
what we each chose
but I do remember
what we deemed most valuable
our wonderous sight
eyes to see the world
the people in it
yours were clear
now there is only fog
oh dear old friend
I am no longer there
to drive your car to Texas
or guide you down stairs
in darkened theatres
to sign your name
on credit card receipts
to make you laugh
to hold you close
to face what must be
a future of dependency
the hardest role to play
for someone so stubbornly
and yet
old dear friend
you stay in good spirits
proving once again
just how tough you are

11 thoughts on “on sight: for Steve

  1. I cried through nearly all of this poem. As someone who has had vision issues for several years and is now rapidly losing their sight, this work hit very close to home. Incredible.

  2. A beautiful, bittersweet song. I love that you have such talent. You mark the landscape in footprints over time and though, not present, you simply are, light reflected. Such a special a gift to your friend, Leonard. Bravo!

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