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Carl has retinitis pigmentosa,

sight one minute, then

losing it with the shift of his head.

Bright lights to keep

from stumbling into corners.

He’s not ready to give up

what belongs to the eye.

I hesitate to say, "Just make an X",

place my finger where I want him

to sign his name.

With heavy black marker

in his right hand,

he slowly forms letters,

his left forefinger, a guide.

The next time, he shows me

a new voice activated cell phone

and offers me cherry cheesecake.

"I’m learning to cook as a blind man,"

he says. "Easier" than fighting it.

Cherries are sliding off the top

of a pinkish, lopsided slice.

I close my eyes,

feel my way with a fork.


Nancy Scott is the author of 14 volumes of fiction and poetry. She had been managing editor of U.S. 1 Worksheets for more than 16 years. As a caseworker for the State of New Jersey for 18 years she assisted many disabled people to find housing in the community. She now is disabled herself. More information at

Click to read this piece in the Disability Pride Anthology.

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