A hundred pairs of Pound Shop specs,¹
Each specifically purchased with a purpose to correct
The lengthening of sight that comes with age,
Though in truth, there’s little talk of this stage:
The sorry business of wrinkling skin
The Problem in Common… So, where to begin
As eyelids stretch and eyeballs strain
And minds resist the telling pain
Suggesting arms are now to short
To do the job they really ought,
The most of which (for self-protection)
Is reading things in the right direction…?
The subtext, more a vanity thing
Of protecting one’s eyes from crêping skin,
An unaesthetic outcome indeed
Resulting from the need to read;
Repetitive squinting taking its toll
As eyebrows raise and eyeballs roll
With arms adjusting stretch and height
But still not getting the focus right.
A hundred pairs of Pound Shop specs.
Spread in a human trail
That’s quite an investment, don’t you think?
-But all to no avail.
And so to the Sisyphean challenge,
The subtle but costly Optician’s Revenge:
The needing-glasses-to-find-the-glasses
A niggling frustration that never passes
And frankly explains low budget investment,
My strewing of pairs to minimise torment.
I know where they are
Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, car
Handbag A and workbag B
(Pragmatics more than luxury)
A pair in the bathroom, a pair in the lounge,
The pair in the toilet² most easily found
Nothing to do but follow the trail:
A paradoxically ocular kind of braille…


*Four-site, four-eyes; foresite, foreyes; potayto, potarto…let’s call the whole thing off…

¹ – For which, read (if you can…) any low budget high street store.

² –We have a modest magazine rack in there….the culmination of an inherited family tradition…


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