Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A touch of bark

I am not blind. But if I were I would feel around, the way I look around. I would feel the bark of trees, the down of grass, the cold of pavement, the roughness of a bench. The blue feel of metal would still my hands. The wet of cold. The cling of raindrop on finger. Dampened, my fingers would find the lost feathers of a chickadee, just as they now find lint in every pocket. I would wince when the edge of a metal roof, or worse, a sharp sheet of paper cut the meat of my palm. I can see a chickadee on a bush outside my window right now, but blind I would feel the quiver of the branch as the bird took flight. Then I would bend over and rummage in the leafy duff at the base of bush, in the fallen leaves, in the humus, wet, not slimy but gritty, almost like sand. I would feel the cold oyster breath of air on my face, a growing dampness in clothes, sprinkle of droplets from trees on my hair. Soon, a drop of cold wetness, gift of chilly air, on the tip of my nose. I would follow my own footprints as they padded from pavement to lawn to garden to forest. Twisted path. Uneven surface of rocks. Then I would bend and take up one rock into my hands, a big one, weight of an infant, and toss it up a little, an inch or so, and catch it, the weight of reality settling into my certain hands with rough coldness and just the hint of a giggle. If I were blind I would notice. 

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