optometrist dilates one eye
but you're quick, bat his hand away
before he squirts his poison in the other.
He wants to help you, he's doing his job–
people stare, we're taking up time.
Mama, wouldn't you like new glasses?
Forty years ago, Trapp Opticians in Bronxville:
you tried on frames one after another,
chose tortoiseshell chased with gold
instead of the commonplace
cat's eyes with rhinestones,
My patients notice what I wear, you said,
bifocals for looking down at a chart,
then up through uncorrected lens
at the woman sitting beside your desk
while you blended empathy and advice,
tore a scrip from the pad, passed it
like a recipe across a kitchen table.
Now you hate the touch of strangers.
I pick up the nearest frames, prop them on your nose–
I don't want them. Stop, you're hurting me!
Your hands flail trying to pull them off
and when I hold a mirror to your face
you shout in horror – Who's that? Who's that?