Vision from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

With these shifting layers of sight
I wonder what is real.
Do I see your fear and sadness
Or only what I feel?
The letters that I type
dance upon the page
now clear, now blurred
making distance impossible to gauge.
I’ve always lived on the margin
never feeling I was a part
of the laughter or the fighting
never knowing how to start
to bridge the distance
between myself and others
that I felt within my heart.
I have loved you from the sidelines.
Perhaps more than you’ll ever know.
But I’m happier in nature,
peaceful and alone.
My vision doesn’t matter then
when my imagination can roam
first close than far, now shallow then deep
feeling no one is judging me
for the company I keep,
for my fumbling social awkwardness
because I don’t belong
in the busy fray of jostling
to rise above the throng.
I don’t mind the solitude.
Although I have sometimes wished to be
someone who only sees one layer
not this shifting cacophony.
But in the end I’m grateful
for this often peaceful place
it allows me to see your beauty
and live in blissful grace
as the turmoil rages around us
I can still see what could be.
A life of peace and wonder,
A deeper unity.


(for my beloved daughter, Jnana – March 2, 2015)


36 thoughts on “Vision from the Margins

  1. What a beautiful poem Carol…it feels as it represents me too:that’s exactly how I feel. As today is also my birthday, I’ll take as a gift even when it wasn’t intended to me…things have a strange way to come to us, and if we pay attention, we can see the many signs life sends to us. Thank you dear soul sister!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Sylvia, thank you so much for your lovely comments. I’m grateful that you see this as a gift for your birthday, and I do send my love and best wishes to you on this day (and all others). I’m not surprised we share the same otherworldly, empathetic Pisces sun sign :-).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really lovely poem, Carol! May I reblog this? Live makes us slow down sometimes and contemplate our blessings and the world around us. I hope you are healing nicely, dear lady!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely thoughts, Carola, which have a lot of meaning to me today as I have come to realise that this part of my life is necessarily more one of solitude due to health challenges. I might say I’m returning to who I am, I’m not unhappy at the changes, merely adjusting to another part of my life. Your words help a great deal, thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, Mo. As you point out, health challenges are a mixed blessing – they force us to go deeper to reflect and heal. I’m grateful to know that these simple words were helpful and I send my best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. One word. Exquisite.
    (ĕk′skwĭ-zĭt, ĭk-skwĭz′ĭt)
    a. Characterized by highly skilled or intricate art; excellently made or formed: an exquisite gold chalice, [an exquisite poem].
    b. Extremely or delightfully beautiful: the exquisite colors of a sunset, [the exquisite nuances of a poem].

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol – this is absolutely beautiful. I’m way behind in reading my favorite blogs…and this is the first one as I work backwards. How lovely to see this and appreciate the beauty of the expression of your heart through these verses. Blessings to you.


  6. Carol, I don’t have the words to express how this poem touched me–I would say I could have written it because it says what I feel about a sometimes desire to be different, yet enjoying who I am more. Thank you so much, I needed this today. I hope your recovery is going well. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have a gift. In fact, it appears you have several. Life is an idea. It thrives because it’s intelligent and contagious. It uses the environment around it in creative ways. Always probing for freedom to escape its boundaries. Serendipity. Yours touched mine. Life goes on. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shery, I’m grateful for your thoughtful comments.

      (Honestly, the first time I wrote any poetry since childhood was for my granddaughter a year or so ago – and what I write always feels so silly and trite to me … But I thank you for your kind words and encouragement.)


  8. This is a very thought provoking poem. It is full of love and tenderness for your daughter but I feel at the same time you are explaining yourself to her? If so, I hope it opened a dialogue between you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such thoughtful comments and questions, Bernadette. Funny. I forgot about this poem. I wrote it after my cataract surgery (February 25), before I got new glasses to adjust a profound prescription change. So words did literally dance on the screen. Some days, it’s still hard for me to focus well enough to read printed texts.

      I faced my greatest fears that day, blindness and surgery that I was warned by the anesthesiologists could make my heart stop if the surgeon touched the wrong part of my eye. My daughter graciously took time off work to be with me for the day and agreed to make sure that my advanced directives (DNR) were enforced. I’m honestly not sure if she ever read this poem. Perhaps someday she will when the time is right. Until then, I’ll just love her and know it’s reciprocated despite our differences.

      Liked by 1 person

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