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Once again,

it's my time

to read the tiny letters

on the distant wall.

It's the torture equivalent

of soldiers playing

Barry Manilow music

at full volume

to break a prisoner.

Really I'm already

willing to surrender

but the doctor insists

my eyes drop to

the next line down

where a blur that

could be a G or a 6

or a P or a 0 awaits.

He won't be satisfied

until I declare,

"Okay, I can't read

the damn letters and numbers.

So shoot me."

Instead, he writes

out a prescription

for a pair of glasses.

More even than

a plastic surgeon,

he's about to change the way

I will appear to

both myself and the world

and he treats

the whole affair

so matter-of-factly,

as if wearing

an optical contraption

on my face

is a lot less demeaning

than not being able

to tell G from 6 or P from 0.

I figured I would grow old gracefully,

not technologically.

I guess I didn't read the small print.

And now I need help to.

JOHN GREY is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Washington Square Review, Floyd County Moonshine, McNeese Review, Santa Fe Literary Review,  and Open Ceilings. Latest books, Covert, Memory Outside The Head, and Guest Of Myself are available through Amazon. 

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