February Fiction: The Optician’s (a poem)

by Bethany Wood, Age 16, England

The fiction prompt of the month for February was “shapes.”


The Optician’s

I survey the book-lined shelves, but…
…they may be folders, may be files;
orderly shapes, slotting together:
disconnected equilaterals amalgamated.
Waiting, I see irregular shapes outside
which dance, contorting to new forms:
autonomous objects, yet somehow beautifully fitting–
Like beads in a kaleidoscope.
The hazardous, impeccable right angles of the desk, covered
in random, irregular shapes: Tetrahedrons, Dodecahedrons, Icosahedrons…
The optician looks up, the stripes on his suit becoming warped
as he twists, the crescents above his eyes inverting to a look of concern.
My eyes form ellipses as I gape through at what were shapes,
before perceptible…and now divisible!
The new lenses in my glasses were overdue.


Bethany says: “Every time I go to the optician’s office, I am shocked when I receive new lenses by how crisp and clear everything is. I wrote this poem based on my own experience of trying to identify objects with only the context as a clue beforehand. My art teacher sparked the idea of ‘seeing in shapes’ when he told me that it is easier to draw your surroundings when your vision is not quite in focus, as the shapes are in fact clearer!”



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