The optometrist says my eyes
are getting better each year.
Soon he’ll have to lower my prescription.
What’s next? The light step I had at six?
All the gray hairs back to brown?
Skin taut as a drum?

My improved eyes and I
walked around town and celebrated.

We took in the letters
of the marquee, the individual leaves
filling out the branches of the sycamore,
an early moon.

So much goes downhill: our joints
wearing out with every mile,
the delicate folds of the eardrum
exhausted from years of listening.
I’m grateful for small victories.

The way the heart still beats time
in the cathedral of the ribs.

And the mind, watching its parade of thoughts
enter and leave, begins to see them
for what they are: jugglers, fire swallowers, acrobats
tossing their batons in the air.


Posted by kind permission of the poet. All rights reserved.


#Well-being
Poetry
Danusha Laméris

Danusha Laméris

About the author
Danusha Laméris is a poet, teacher, and essayist. She is the author of The Moons of August, which was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the Autumn House Press poetry prize and was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Book Award, and Bonfire Opera, a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize, and winner of the Northern California Book Award in Poetry. The 2020 recipient of the Lucille Clifton Legacy Award, she is a Poet Laureate emeritus of Santa Cruz County, California, and co-leads the Poetry of Resilience webinars and the HearthFire Writing Community with James Crews. She is on the faculty of Pacific University's low-residency MFA program.