Fragile Jelly

<a href=””>Fragile</a&gt;


About thirteen years ago, I lost the central vision in my left eye. Three surgeries couldn’t repair it.  My other eye compensates, but this event has caused me to value my eyes more than I ever did before.

Here is one of the poems I wrote on the subject.  In Shakespeare’s King Lear,  Gloucester has his eyes put out by the evil Cornwall, who says as he does this, “Out, vile jelly!”

Inquiring Eye



Gluey with pollen’s morning,

cataracts growing like fine mildew,

how long will you see?

how long will you be my seer?


Blue of my father’s eye,

will you see with his ninety three years?

will you see people but not know them?

Already your partner is partially blind.

Will you stay true to the end?


Still you show me the

eye line of the warbler,

eye ring of the kinglet.

Still you give me the link to

the brain’s recognition.


Shakespeare’s Cornwall cried

Out, vile jelly!

but you are my fragile jelly,

my treasured pearl.

<a href="">Fragile</a>





Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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