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A CERTAIN BLINDNESS

Even Lear could not see until Goneril's
henchmen stepped on his eyes. I don't see
owls any more. I see crows, hawks, geese
gliding over the ridge with a curling

of feathers like fingers and it means nothing.
Last night I watched Orion skate slowly
across the last corner of winter sky

and thought of hunters. In Minnesota winter
air is so cold it could crack stars and I
could walk on water, listen to the lake's
voice creaking in the dark. In spring I'd wait

for those groans of life, watch water seep
to the top, feel ice bend under my feet
like some crazy funhouse floor and I was glad
the lake cannot be tamed, can swallow

unexpectedly, needs sacrifice. I would lie
on the ice and listen for its heartbeat.
I've waited through winter for that
curl of feathers like fingers, flying
in the dark. A certain blindness relieved.

      — Teri Zipf