Chana Bloch

The Sixth Age

Words slip from me lately 
like cups and saucers
from soapy hands.    
I grope for the names of things	 	 
that are governed, like me, by the laws 
of slippage and breakage.  

I am like a child 
left behind by the fast-talking 				 
grownups. A tourist 
lost in the blind alleys    	 				 
of a foreign language.

How will I see my way to anywhere	           		    	 
without my words?								 

I slam up and down the stairs of our house:
Where are my glasses hiding?				 
Rimless, invisible as oxygen. 		 
I need glasses to find them.				  

There must be words left			    	   
to go on searching for the ones I've lost		 

the way the blind man I once loved		 	 
found me,
first with his fingertips,						 
then with his whole hand.