The Final Change
the fundamental thing my sister could not tolerate,
If her panic-fluttering fingers,
groping ahead in apprehensive search
for the familiar,
touched something alien,
she would halt,freeze, and then begin to whimper softly,
in heaven knows what depth of terror.
The years went by.
Her innocent, heroic heart gave out at last.
And I grew old.
In the course of time,
one night in sudden darkness of a blackout,
I lived my sister's panic
while groping for the light switch on the wall
I knew was there but could not find.
And, with the loss of some essential faith
in what is naturally due me,
like the permanence of my breathing,
all at once my blind eyes saw my death,
as fear-ful as the thousand deaths my sister died
each time she touched the empty dark.
by Peggy Freydberg
from Poems from a Pond
published by Hybrid Nation