Optician


At six my short-sighted eyes
Were matched by
Fun green chunky glasses
Like pencil sharpeners
I was told - they felt
To me like two small holes
Cut into the murky glass around.

The kind man with
Special jokes for six-year-olds
Became confused to me
With sunday-school tales
Of Jesus and his miracles,
I'd never known a leper but
Knew of sight given to the blind.

And thus I sit, amongst the lenses
High-street, provincial, would-be Christ,
Staring into eyes that tell me
Everything my profession
Never prepared me to see.

I have no lenses to correct
Despair, abuse, the
Ground-down world-wounded eye;
Must dissemble diagnoses
From numbers and crosses,
Fiddle with machines and
Offer thick dark glasses
Or artificial sparkles.

Confused again, I find myself
The blesser of the hungry,
Feeder of the mourner
Polisher of the leper's bell
And wishing back my
Six-year old unbroken
Clean and murky world.


Jeffrey Burrows


Open Circle