The assignment excited my imagination.
I eagerly chose my blindfold, embracing
its challenge, all its promise, as well as
the gray-haired stranger who wold lead me.
My spirit opened its eyes as we set off, my
two hands in her firm and humanly soft grip
as she competantly led me around the first
corner into unknown territory.
She placed my hands on something inanimately smooth;
I stretched my fingers into a fan to feel its cool, hard shape.
Then I was directed to feel a succession of objects; obeying
like a child, still blindfolded, I first experienced them and then
was told their names. We sidled through a swinging metal
doorway and I was aware of adding depth to the well of this
walk; we explored the puboic bathroom, the swinging toilet door,
porous paper towels, the mingled smells of soap and urine.
I experienced her laughter, her sense of humor, as she
sat me on a chair she knew I'd think was a toilet seat!
sly wit in that gray head! I felt giddy at her unexpected jest.
My courage was challenged but heightened as we
continued to explore a sofa, table, coin on the tabletop,
and walking around an undecipherable space beyond
the limits of m;y recall.
I felt fresh air before I knew we had passed through
an open door; felt warmth on my shoulder as we
turned toward sunlight; felt the firm, imposing hardness
of the sidewalk underfoot and was suddenly afraid;
felt the reassuring softness of her body against my side
as she pulled me near to reassure me in that vast,
dangerous unknown of the unseen outdoors.
The return to our classroom was quicker than expected.
The route was almost familiar; I had passed this way bwefore.
I was almost disappointed to have my sensory adventure over.
I learned I had not only eyes, but other working senses
for information about my world.
first published in Illinois State Poetry Society
©2016 Bonnie Manion