Before you go blind
Still, still without accolades
And now without legs,
And still hanging around this pretty place
So many decades past your prime.
Never again to kick up the dirt,
Stroll through the lush grass, or,
If you lose a limb a year, never again
Run your hands through the vines.
Who'd blame you now
If you believe that outside of numbers
You don't exist, and that even within,
Your function doesn't always return a value.
We are bitter for you. We can't seem
To untangle you from the long shadows
Of those long ago, late, summer afternoons,
Drag you in from the sun and rain
And let you rest. We know
You're up to your eyeballs with our empathy for you.
We are worse than your disease. More
Relentless than your disease. We want
Immortality for you more than you want it.
We want you enshrined before you go blind.
Your legs and arms are expendable, but
If you're lost in darkness, then we all are.
We want you to see us in the crowd
As you hold your bronze plaque at the hall.
At this point though,
I'm sure you'd trade
All of it: us, the memorabelia and
This pretty place, for one meaningful
Victory late, late in the fall and
A big, fat ring.
Francis Santaquilani's Other Poems
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