Archive | July, 2016

Freedom

27 Jul

by Charlie Tarantola

I swing the leather saddle onto his back. My cane is in the barn’s office, tucked away hidden. This to me is somewhat freeing. The smell of horses, and hay are around me. Heavy leather boots on my feet. A helmet is on my head for safety, so I don’t lose another chunk of my precious vision, or worse.

I walk him slowly into the ring, and to the mounting block. I get on quickly, ask him to walk on.

When he does, I breathe in heavy, I don’t have to worry about walking into something tripping or even where I am in space, I am free from the burden of my blindness, free from the worry.

I ask him to canter. I am flying, I can hear his smooth three beat gait, over everything else. And then I open my eyes, and see his bright red chestnut neck, I pat it, and mutter good boy Leo.

Charlie Tarantola has been somewhere in between sighted and blind all of his life. Cortical blindness changed that. Growing up, he was taught to be strong, be brave, and be hopeful. He was lucky enough to have relatives who showed him being blind doesn’t mean your life ends

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Just As the Ocean Does

13 Jul

by Sharon Tewksbury

The ocean rolled,

The boat swaying with its perpetual rhythm.

We stood on the deck,

The night was unsullied.

I remember

you looking out to sea,

And I was listening to the sounds of the ferry’s motor

And the ocean

Slapping against the sides of the boat

 

Did the moon dance on the water?

I don’t remember,

But I felt you beside me,

And you described,

lights coming from all directions.

And you loved the dolphins,

Playing by the ship.

 

We listened to the gulls,

Circling overhead,

Hoping we had one last crumb of food they could eat.

I still remember the ferry’s horn, deep and loud,

The salty air hitting my nostrils,

We laughing at the spray hitting our faces,

I remember my sighs of gratitude,

because the pleasure of that trip,

Was so simple.

And we didn’t care,

That the Galveston water was dirty.

 

And now it seems like a lifetime ago,

And things have changed,

Babies will soon be born,

Loved ones have been taken away,

But your memory will always live on,

Just as the ocean does.

 

Sharon Tewksbury, was born blind in the early fifties. She had cataracts before birth, was born prematurely and was in an incubator for eight weeks. Oxygen and bright lights made what vision she had leave at an expedient rate. This poem was written to share that although some sighted folks might think the blind have missed out, nothing could be further from the truth.