The last Degree
By Ann Chiappetta
When I had 20 degrees I could see
Colors and contrast, walk
Relaxed and not rely on a cane for mobility.
Then it became 10 degrees
Gone was the confidence of more periphery
The macular cloud rolled in, obscuring everything
Colors eroded into shades of grey
I relied on a dog because I needed more
Than a cane could give me.
Then one day I began bumping into walls
Misplacing items in front of me
I said goodbye to magnification and high contrast
The accuracy of degrees left me
Once again I was forced
To cope with a lost legacy, a memory
Of what I had only months before.
So here I am, floundering, fearful
The final five degrees
The countdown begins
I don’t know what to expect
The Numbers represent a plunge
Into something familiar
Something that leeches courage and resolve
Something I am not prepared to face
Something I live with every day
And something I know nothing about.