Alice at Seventeen: Like a Blind Child

Darcy Cummings

One summer afternoon, I learned my body
like a blind child leaving a walled
school for the first time, stumbling
from cool hallways to a world
dense with scent and sound,
pines roaring in the sudden wind
like a huge chorus of insects.
I felt the damp socket of flowers,
touched weeds riding the crest
of a stony ridge, and the scrubby
ground cover on low hills.
Haystacks began to burn,
smoke rose like sheets of
translucent mica. The thick air
hummed over the stretched wires
of wheat as I lay in the overgrown field
listening to the shrieks of small rabbits
bounding beneath my skin.

Copyright © 2006 by Darcy Cummings. From The Artist As Alice: From a Photographer's Life. Reprinted with permission of Bright Hill Press.

Copyright © 2006 by Darcy Cummings. From The Artist As Alice: From a Photographer's Life. Reprinted with permission of Bright Hill Press.

Darcy Cummings