When my grandmother went blind
she stopped speaking in metaphors.
Resentful of the advantage that life took of her condition
she used the power of her words to strip her blindness of meaning.
I didn’t notice right away, how her speech had changed;
something subtle in the tone, a shift in the richness of her stories.
We were sitting in her library, boxing her art collection –
Eighty years of men and women using color and line
to tell us secrets, and dissimulate.
I had spent the day
taking down photographs,
stripping the shelves of books,
What a tenuous thing,
to spend a life collecting.
What use, now?
How do we communicate our hearts, when we are insensate, sightless?
When everything is gone, how empty we must feel.
But my grandmother shook her head, a shrugging gesture: I cannot see;
how would I know
It struck me then: there are no metaphors.
The blind do not lead the blind.
Love has no eyes at all.
Luck and Justice are, at best, exploited women.
Bats use sonar.
When we finished, I took her hand in mine and described the beauty of her naked walls.
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Bio: Katharine Lawrence is a native of New York. She received her BA in Anthropology from Vassar College, and her MPH from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is a fourth year medical student at FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) in Miami, FL.