With only one eye to see


February 28, 2012


The hedges look like green cupcakes, white on top where the new snow melts.

The moisture drips into the dark depths of the still-green, which sags only slightly.

I keep thinking of the trees in my yard after the freak snow storm last October, and how branches cracked one after another, whole limbs falling down into the yard.

They are still there – now covered in snow, leaves withered, while I recover from eye surgery that keeps me from sawing them into smaller pieces to cart away.

The doctors say I shouldn’t exercise or do anything strenuous or else I might lose the eyesight surgery restored.

But labor and exercise have always been a kind of meditation. Sometimes, I lost myself jogging when back in Passaic. And working nights as a donut baker, I could feel the texture of the dough as I worked it, and know when I finally get back to the point where I can use the saw, cutting wood would serve me as well.

I need to feel warm of it where the blade cuts through the skin, and catch the pungent odor of slightly burnt wood from the blade’s friction.

But with my patch on, and my restriction, I have become an observer on life, not a participant.

And the sharp sun shining through the gaps of melting ice here blinds me in a different way, another form of aggression winter brings – pressing against the limbs, and against something inside of me.

I can hardly breathe with it mounting inside and outside of me, as if the same cold hand that presses down on these hedges, presses down on me, and only a real thaw, some amazing life event marking a change will relieve me and let me breathe again.

And so, I wait for spring to spring back, just as these hedges wait, and the rest of his frozen world I walk through with only one eye to see.


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