(with a debt to Diane Burns)
Thank you. Everybody says he's beautiful.
No, I groom him.
No, he's color blind. I tell him when to cross.
I'm sorry to hear about your dog.
Yes, it's hard when you have to put them down.
I don't agree. I still put faith in people.
Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Jose Feliciano--
yes, they've all done well for themselves.
No, we're not all good musicians.
No, I've never tuned a piano.
No, I don't cane chairs.
No, we don't all know each other.
Yes, I cook for myself.
Yes, I dress myself.
Yes, it takes a kind of courage some days,
but no, I wouldn't call myself a superman.
Yes, it's a shame some of us have had to beg.
No, I don't know the one at Tenth and Market.
We're just out for ice cream.
No, she's not my reader or attendant.
No, we don't all marry sighted people.
No, we don't all marry blind people, either.
We're just friends who haven't seen each other for a while.
No, I'm being figurative, not literal.
Excuse me, but I'd like to get back to her.
Yes, you can say "see you later" to me.
Click to hear this poem out loud.
Daniel Simpson's School for the Blind came out in 2014. In 2017, he and his wife, Ona Gritz, co-authored Border Songs: A Conversation in Poems and co-edited More Challenges for the Delusional, an anthology of prose, poetry, and writing prompts. His work has been anthologized in Welcome to the Resistance: Poetry as Protest, About Us: Essays from the Disability Series of the New York Times, and Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, and has appeared in numerous journals. The recipient of a Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, he tends a blog, Inside the Invisible, which can be found at https://insidetheinvisible.wordpress.com.