Paul Spella

Last night I watched a documentary on war,
and the part I carry with me today
was the spectacle of a line
of maybe 20 blinded soldiers
being led, single-file,
away from a yellow cloud of gas.

That must be what accounts
for this morning’s brightness—
sunlight slathered over everything
from the royal palms to the store awnings,
from the blue Corolla at the curb
to a purple flower climbing a fence,
one gift of sight after another.

I couldn’t see their bandaged faces,
but each man had one hand
resting on the shoulder
of the man in front of him
so that every man was guiding
and being guided at the same time,
and in the same tempo,
given the unison of their small, cautious steps.

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