Glaucoma by Neil Flatman


My father worries the pressure’s gotten worse
that only touch will see him

through until the whorls of the world fade
away, the hand in front of his face.

He asks if I still see my mother
and if memories keep

the promises of dreams. I say he’ll be fine,
I say. Draw whirlpools behind your eyes.

Each tide must turn. He says these things
are hereditary. I take the path

of least resistance, speak in autumn:
burning leaves and the spice

port leaves on your tongue
when the sun has all but sunk

with the warmth of a cousin’s kiss. I describe
the light as watery, he says it’s mist.

by Neil Flatman

Editor’s Note: The tension between the father and son in this poem is understated, but all the more poignant because of its hidden cost.


3 responses to “Glaucoma by Neil Flatman”

  1. Risa Denenberg Avatar

    Subtle and delicious. Line breaks to envy!

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