Turn on a Lamp


Sometimes at night I light a lamp so as not to see. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

I had to explain to my children this year why I hesitate to drive at night. Diminished vision is hard to explain to young bright eyes. They see so much without seeing much at all.

As my sight begins to dim shadows catch my attention on the fringes of my time. Memories are more distant. My here and now more present.

The darkness of night, once an ancient peaceful ally moans and creaks and whines as the neon of time slowly clicks the seconds until light blinds my mind.

Yes, turn on the candle, the light, the sun. So much to see without seeing much at all.

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