Today's poem is by Christina Pugh

The New Retina

is little more
than a sequin
in the doctor's palm,

dull as sterling spoons
passed among
the generations,

but magic as the chip
or the quark,
to net the world

for this man,
who returned
from the war
and married,

and felt a fog
filtering the faces
in the pews.

Years later,
he thinks he's forgotten
the shape
of his daughter's eyes,

though he'd guess
her forehead's low
and broad
as his own.

If he could,
he'd ask the doctor
for perimeter—

not the vein's
streak, the changes
in the hair:

the landmarks
he remembers
are adobe
or paper,

like the strips
her scissors made
years ago:

doll legs,
two short arms—

he wants to say
at his age,
he's through
with the scintillant,

the sealing
of spirit
over dirt:

what would he do
with light
dappled frantic
on water,

a girl swaddled
back to him
as nimbus,

all her edges
given up
the ghost?

Copyright © 2005 Christina Pugh All rights reserved
from Crab Orchard Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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