Thought Wheel

Ann Chiappetta

Blind Beatitutes

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BLESSED ARE THEY that refrain from shouting when they speak to me.

BLESSED ARE THEY that talk directly to me and not to some one

BLESSED ARE THEY that say who they are when entering a room and
say hello to me.

BLESSED ARE THEY that say goodbye to me when they leave so I am
not left speaking to the air.

BLESSED ARE THEY that do not hesitate to say “SEE” when talking
to me.

BLESSED ARE THEY who tap my shoulder gently when they approach
from behind or from the side when speaking to me.

BLESSED ARE THEY who wait for me to extend my hand before shaking

BLESSED ARE THEY who place my hand on an object such as the back
of a chair when telling me where it is, so I can seat myself.

BLESSED ARE THEY who do not leave me in a strange environment
without orienting me to it.

BLESSED ARE THEY who offer me their arm so they can serve as my
guide, instead of grabbing, pulling or shoving me.

BLESSED ARE THEY who come up to me in a large crowd and offer to
help me when I appear disoriented.

BLESSED ARE THEY who do not embarrass me in a group of people by
openly referring to my blindness in word or action.

BLESSED ARE THEY who laugh with me when I tell a joke related to

BLESSED ARE THEY who read me the menu and its prices and allow me
to order my own meal.

BLESSED ARE THEY who take me to the cashier so I may pay for my
own meal.

BLESSED ARE THEY who do not distract my guide dog from being my
active eyes.

BLESSED ARE THEY who treat me like a human being, for like it or
not I AM a human being.

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Another Poem

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By Ann Chiappetta

Once, not long ago
the details of life consumed me
Images of wild flowers, riotous colors in a
blanket of green
were picked, not left untouched.

Dependence on Televised greek tragedies
Indelible Portraits, live feeds and last breaths
Possessed me.

Now a sound or smell overrides the lost optical cues
Memories ribbon the air with Familiar scents
Warm, pungent earth after it rains
Reminders of ripening tomatoes
The brace and sting of crisp winter wind
Recollections of hikes in the snow tipped pines

The soft, clear tinkle of ice on a windowpane
And My husband’s breathing deep in the night
Comforts the troubles
Lulls me back to sleep

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New Poem

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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 different
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.

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Updates With Legal Matters

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Well. I am being proactive and called Disability Rights Advocates to inquire as to if they will take on my case with being denied reasonable accommodations with the NY State Family therapy lisencing exam. I’ll know sometime next week if they will take on my case.

The V.A. has made great strides in accommodating me with the primary database I need to record and view my case notes. I’m able to do at least 50% of my job with the changes but it’s still a work in progress.

The exam process, however, has morphed into an ugly snake with a wicked bite. Not only has the State of NY denied me, the cop out is “we just don’t know when the changes will take place,”. Wow, since I found out the testing contractor, PES has made it an option for test takers to use screen magnification, why can’t they also offer screen reading software? I never got a straight answer and I don’t plan to let them slide on this. I’ll post as soon as I know if DRA will take me on.

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