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My grandmother is learning braille -- poetry by Blair Bowers

My grandmother is learning braille,

her wrinkled fingers feel around for the dunes of the wooden page,

I watch as she shows me the alphabet, numbers, and basic words.

She learns the print like a small child learns to speak.

Her frail hands use my arm as a guide,

maneuvering so carefully, she takes each step with hesitation,

she learns to walk with a cane like I learned to crawl:

little by little, step by step

Maneuvering so carefully,

there once was a time she was the one running me around.

I’m reminded of her watching me learn to say my ‘r’s and ‘s’s at speech therapy,

reminded of her watching me learn to read and write.

There once was a time when she drove me to speech therapy,

picked me up from school, and drove me to friends’ houses,

now my grandmother is learning braille.

As the fatal thought passes that she will soon lose all her vision,

I watch as she shows me the alphabet, numbers and basic words.


Blair Bowers is a high school junior studying Creative Writing at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida. Her work has received recognition, including one Scholastic silver-key, as well as publication in Teen Ink, and in DA’s literary magazine Elan, which she now is Editor-in-Chief of. She spends her time writing, art journaling, watching movies, painting, and has a fond interest for Psychology and True Crime.

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