They were like flash bulbs going off in her eye
right in the corner, a sneaky off-centre intruder,
a tear, they said, of great concern.

She thought of books she had yet to read,
the pile on the floor by her bedside, pushed
into drawers and cupboards waiting to see the light.

The tear could extend, allow fluid to enter,
separate the retina. They couldn’t tell her
how long this had been there. 

She thought about rainbow colours,
of sunrises and sunsets, the varieties of green,
vibrant skies and water in its shimmer.

It was probably her age, everything was her age;
she had laser treatment there and then,
no guarantees, but left untreated she’d lose sight.

She thought about all the words left to read,
all the places left to see, the faces of loved ones
fading into darkness, and held on to hope.

by Heather Walker

Heather Walker is retired and lives in London. She writes poetry and short fiction and her work has appeared in various publications including Paragraph Planet, Visual Verse, Gold Dust magazine, Popshop, Seaborne and a number of anthologies. Her first book of linked flash stories Where it Ends is available at Amazon.

photo by Bob Clark