Francis Santaquilani


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.

Submitted: Friday, October 14, 2005
Edited: Monday, October 31, 2005
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