Micro-memoir: Blindness in Early Youth

Walk and listen.

I follow a creek.

Blackbirds rattle and click in a dead elm.

In the trees I find a pile of discarded birch logs.

I listen as mud wasps fly in and out of their nest.

They sound like old people in a dispute. Buzzing in their different pitches.

They sound like the old Finns in my grandmother’s church.

Sober. Hard at work. Talking beneath their breath. Working while others are napping. A

little resentful.

Some are fast as b’b’s from a gun. Some are sluggish.

I follow the creek and wade through shallow pools among cat


Bullfrogs talk like the gods of mud.


“He’s spending too much time alone,” my Aunt Muriel says in her shrill voice. She has

two voices. One is scarcely audible, her lips moving a catacomb voice as my mother calls it.

The other is like a cry across a public square.

“He’s going to grow up weird!” Muriel shouts.

They are below me in the kitchen. I can hear them through a heat register.

“For Chrissakes Muriel he’s blind!” my mother shouts. “The kid can’t play baseball!”

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