How drivers miss out

By From page A12 | October 23, 2013

You feel the burp in the sidewalk

where the elderly oak
has taken its stand
you hope it won’t be sacrificed
for accessibility’s sake.

You note the fading blooms
on the agapanthus.
If they resided with you,
you would cut them back.
But then the scent of lavender
is heady and happy-making.

Passing the mosque,
you are blessed
by strands of ancient prayers,
strung like sound-beads as a promise.

Someone in that graygreen home
is making chicken móle,
you are sure of it, for
the chocolate chile blend invites you in.

You rejoice
when you walk by the weathered 4x4s,
because the old man who placed them there
as markers for his driveway
has refreshed their white paint.

At the stoplight, the college kid says, “Ma’am,
not to be rude,
but how could you tell I was here?”
(He motions ineffectually at your white cane.)

“Oh,” you say, laughing, “I have enough sight,
about five percent,
to spot a good-looking guy.”
You cannot see his blush,
But the pleasure in his voice comes through.

A child laughs,
the squirrels comment,
a ball resounds
against a racket.

And so you are guided by smells and sounds
and yes, some sights,
in your surroundings.

How wholly pedestrian of you!

Kary Joseph Shender


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