Emma was her Eyes
(Dedicated to Sheila Hocken, based on her book "Emma and I")
Born only able to make out shapes
and distinguish light from dark.
She found during her teens
even these restrictions became denied to her.
Then at nineteen she took possession
of a beautiful chocolate brown Labrador
Emma who became her eyes.
For ten years she owed the life she could lead
to her highly intelligent guide dog,
during which time she fell in love
and married a lovely sighted man.
Eventually she heard of a physician
who could operate on her eyes.
He explained he could not perform miracles.
But he did!
The day after her op in a hospital room,
her bandages removed, she opened her eyes.
She later described it as being like
a shock wave of incandescent brightness
She was physically struck by brilliance, and vivid colours
such as she had never before imagined,
“As if the sun itself had burst into her brain and body”.
She wept uncontrollably at the shock and the joy;
she had escaped from the infinite black pit.
On the day of her release from hospital,
when at last she had no more need of bandages,
she saw her husband for the first time in her life,
and fell in love with him all over again.
Into the outside world – how blue the sky,
how green the grass – how gorgeous her dog,
who could now retire and live with her as a pet.
Why had no one ever told her how beautiful the world is?