David Graham – USA (PJ32)

Pain Believer

For a moment this morning, before I put on my glasses, I thought the aspirin bottle on the counter read “Pain Believer.” Which is exactly what I am, I suppose, especially as I age. Creaky knees and aching feet; stiff back, cataract-dimming eyes. It’s true I find my eyes as well as my joints steadily less reliable. And in fact I don’t much remember life before eyeglasses. But I do recall with prophetic sharpness the moment when the eye doctor slipped that first pair over my ears, then lifted the window shade. “Look out as far as you can,” he instructed. “What do you notice?”

I could barely answer. The world’s beautiful blur suddenly lovely in a whole new way. Distant trees, clothes lines, road signs all snapped into focus. Objects assumed individual identities. I could see single leaves trembling in the light breeze. But it was a strong wind blowing over me from then on, and delicious. I leaned hard into it.

tree limbs creak
against each other
in april wind