Rose Kelleher


The blind can hear things other people can’t,
one sense allowed to cover for the other
as if some slipshod god were keeping count,
half-trying to be fair. I know I’d rather
have seeing eyes than echometric ears,

but then, I know the awkward and unlovely
acquire fantastic powers after years
of practice in the art of being lonely;
conjuring wine from water, bread from stone,
wringing pleasures from the empty air
you with your luck in love could not imagine;

blessed―like saints in furnaces, withstanding
heat that would burn beauty to the bone―
with gifts they didn’t ask for, and can’t share.

Rose Kelleher is the author of Bundle o' Tinder (Waywiser, 2008). Her poems have appeared in many print and online journals, most recently 32 Poems, The Raintown Review and River Styx. She lives in Maryland.