blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



In the Yeats Class, Summer Term

“She stood in desperate music wound. . .”

The young professor squeaks the chalk across
the blackboard. The blind girl, all her senses rapt,
punches her notebook paper with a stylus,
translating his drawl to the pointillist’s Ur-script

of Braille. The rest of us are bored. The gray
wind from the crowded, muggy street: more real
than “Hades’ bobbin-cloth unwinding from the soul”
or “shadows of birds on a sea-starved, hungry sea.”

And I? I’ve lost my hard-won second sight
since that young married professor beat
his heart on mine. What vision will complete
the cries I stifled in his arms all night?

I gaze out the window, take automatic notes,
while mid-day breaks the songs from birds’ throats.
In its own fuel, the lamp’s wick drowns. I open
an ancient Chinese book, and throw three coins.

In memory of my aunt, Eileen Wright Carey 

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