Poem introduction

I worked for many years in a life insurance company and it was a thirteen storey building and I went up and down the elevator every day with a lot of people and occasionally we would have a blind person on the elevator with us and everyone I noticed would back away and press themselves in the corner. Then on other occasions I noticed how we all stepped back from blind people as if we were afraid of catching blindness perhaps or afraid of something they might do.

A Blind Woman

She had turned her face up into
a rain of light, and came on smiling.

The light trickled down her forehead
and into her eyes. It ran down

into the neck of her sweatshirt
and wet the white tops of her breasts.

Her brown shoes splashed on
into the light. The moment was like

a circus wagon rolling before her
through puddles of light, a cage on wheels,

and she walked fast behind it,
exuberant, curious, pushing her cane


'A Blind Woman' from Weather Central (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994), © Ted Kooser 1994, used by permission of the author and the publisher. All rights are controlled by the University of Pitsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, www.pitt.edu/press/.

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