Today's poem is by Lesley Wheeler

Lazy Eye

The stranger unplugs her bogus teeth
with a damp pop, tossing discarded parts
across my room, where she bunks this summer.
She brings Cadbury bars and Oxo cubes.

I am ten and not Cassandra. The gods
broke me, didn’t send a gift or a note—
Sorry, Second Sight is out of stock.
So one eye glares at tomorrow, the other watches

the visitor. Off with the belt that cinches her fine
figure. She tucks her dress, as green as envy,
into the pastel sweetness of my closet.
A bra’s silky cones protrude from her case.

I peel a scrap of plastic from one iris,
drop it in the shag, kneel to stroke
the rug, sit up to scrape the ball again:
could the lens still be drifting there? Have I lost

something, or not? Contacts improve me for other
lookers, but do not change what I see,
the double vision, partial views, the way
she’s my grandmother, the way she’s

a foreign country. Oh, hyphenated you,
the chorus mocks. I am a lucky girl, I have
souvenirs, I have plans, I can gaze along two
paths at once. Some kind of recompense.

Copyright © 2007 Lesley Wheeler All rights reserved
from The National Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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