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  • Writer's pictureShana Ritter

Re – Vision

On Wednesday I will have the first of two eye surgeries. I know it’s only cataracts, a common enough procedure these days. But a little over twenty years ago I had corneal transplants. Due to a degenerative eye disease my corneas thinned and tore. They could not longer support lenses and I couldn’t see without them.

The transplants, from two different donors, some three months apart, returned my sight. I came back from a blurred distorted world to a clear one. A landscape of delineated forms and spaces, colors and shapes. One I could drive through and share with my young daughters.

A few months ago the clarity started blurring again and an eye check revealed cataracts, ironically enough they were caused by the anti rejection meds I had to take because of complications after the initial transplant. Mind you I’m not complaining, twenty plus years of good sight is a gift.

I am returning to the same surgeon, who still remembered me after all these years, both of us looking a bit different. He had the same confidence, me the same trepidations. Then again he is holding the scalpel, I have my eye taped open.

I am curious to see what this change will bring. What will happen when I no longer have to bring things so close in to see them. Will the world around me take on a different shape, different dimensions and colors. Will I walk through it differently being table to see what lies in the distance?

I wrote this poem after the first surgery, nearly 22 years ago.THE RETURN OF SIGHT

The birds lift into flight
a blur of sound wings rising 
undistinguishable color against sky.

My daughters’ voices soar with delight 
I touch the edge of face to define. 
How slowly we recognize blindness.

Time is a movement of light 
from my left its all shadow
from my right shapes form

weight of air becomes spectrums of light
this density of color 
reveals what I had forgotten

a sureness of line, a place where shadows end.




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