Sighted or blind,
we dream of the same world.
Maybe not lightning,
or rainbows, or sunsets,
but surely the booming thunder,
the smell of rain on a dusty road,
a hot pool of sun on the breakfast table.
Not the green curl of an ocean wave,
but the creamy hollow of a seashell.
Not a dog running on the beach,
but the joy in its bark.
Not a beautiful face,
but the lip’s tender journey
across it: temple, cheek, mouth.
They have nightmares too, the blind,
more often than the rest of us,
scenes of falling, of losing their way,
of guide dogs gone missing.
They wake with a start
and hurdle into another darkness,
but this one with sheets,
a bedside table,
the jingle of dog tags
coming to the rescue.
Jean Ryan, a native Vermonter, lives in coastal Alabama. Her debut collection of short stories, Survival Skills, was published by Ashland Creek Press and short-listed for a Lambda Literary Award. Lovers and Loners is her second story collection. Her book of nature essays, Strange Company, is available in digital form, paperback and audio.