Now that they've replaced my own lens
with a plastic one,
every day the view through my eyes is
a new blur to my right
a brightened slash in the corner
and two trees where there was one yesterday.
At first
as I walked to the hospital door
it was all seasons of mists
without much fruitfulness
but perhaps that was the sticking plaster
over the transparent eye patch
making it not transparent
and the other eye is always Clint Eastood anyway
playing misty for me.
As Vik the surgeon
took out my own lens
he said, 'Fat.'
We had looked at it on the scan
and I imagined it between his fingers
like a button
(I once cut a sheep's lens in half
in Biology)
and then he threw that bit of me
in a bin.
Unwanted spare part
I stared at the arc lights
He called for a lens
and counted
1, 2. 3
as if it was going to leap from petrie dish
into the gaping hole of my eye.
I guessed he squeezed it in somehow.
I remembered drawing tiny muscles
thinning and thickening the lens.
I lay still, not daring to move
in case something missed.
And I wondered how those tiny muscles
connected to my new lens
or will it be as I imagined it:
a button in my eye
as inert as a magnifying glass?

I was good at not moving
though I gulped twice.

I should have asked to keep my lens.
I could have kept it in a jar of salt water.
What with all that Shakespeare in me
since I was ever,
I think of that shout, 'Pluck out his eyes!'
and then: 'Out vile jelly!'
If I could see it on the mantlepiece
in its jar
I wouldn't think it vile.
I might think of it like
a stuffed favourite cat
in its glass case.

• • •

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20 Jul
Reedy and Bearne's checklist of types of classroom talk: transactional, expository, interrogatory, exploratory, imaginative, expressive, evaluative.
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