By Ericka Short
Where ere I go,
Though I have eyes that see
some of the world around me,
I feel ill-equipped without thee.
As I walk it fills in the blanks,
To keep me safe and sound.
My five senses allow me to take in
God’s blessings that abound.
Sometimes we go up,
and sometimes we go down,
across and around too.
Sometimes passersby think we’re lost,
but we’re just sharing information-don’t they know?
Tap-oh the curb is two inches deep you say,
as you gently caress the curb before I step.
Tap slide, tap slide, since we’re at church there’s a pew.
I don’t hear anyone speaking, it must be open.
Let’s slip right in and greet those behind.
Smell the sweet bliss of rain?
Hear it flow down the sewer drain?
Cane in front my shoes stay dry – for it plays “I Spy.”
Slish, slosh, whoosh—my Old White and Black takes a dive just for me.
Tap, tap and there’s a crowd,
Let’s pull in and use pencil grip today.
My ears and nose pull me in many directions.
A whiff of corn on the cob,
greasy this and that,
even spilled drinks from little kids.
Oh, a great band is playing here, and there, and there?
Many times like Moses and his staff
the crowds part
and we’re able to safely find the direction we need to head
without treading upon many shoes.
Do we ever dread?
Oh yes we do at times!
When people don’t shovel snow or remove ice,
Landing in a snowbank trying to cross the street is not nice!
When people turn and drive us over
instead of obeying the white cane law—
is my buddy ok?
Yes, the team sometimes comes apart—
You’ve been stuck in car doors and broken in half.
I have left you dear friend so many places.
Worst I’ve had to rescue you was from a dingy bathroom floor!
We’ve gone so many places
from airports, Summerfest, school field trips, jobs, and more!
The beautiful thing is you’re always welcome wherever we go
because nobody’s allergic to you.
Thank you partner, my fiberglass pal, you make so much possible!
I haven’t always used my cane. I wised up about eight years ago when I got sick of doing a little lady shuffle to avoid tripping over curbs or down stairs, which are unreliable in their unevenness. Starting to use my cane was the best thing I ever did in my life.
Lots of people with some vision carry a cane. It signals freedom and safety. For me it fills in a lot of the depth perception problems that come with only seeing through the right eye. I wear sunglasses because my cataract makes me more light sensitive and that’s miserable. Even snow hurts! So never assume someone who carries a cane cannot see anything. Even when I wore glasses a couple years ago I carried my cane faithfully. Many people couldn’t figure it out.
But now you know that our canes help us learn a lot about our environment. We’re out there walking around in all types of weather—in rain, sleet, snow and everything in between. Address us instead of grabbing our canes out of our hands. Just ask us if we need help. Answering courteously and respecting what we need is the best help you could ever give us.