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by Holly Lisle
All Rights Reserved

Another world is mine that none else see,
Cast from a softer, stranger, sweeter mold,
Created by some laughing god for me and me
Alone — its colors bright, its textures bold
Impressionistic sweeps. I look at trees
Like Renoirs, vivid splashes tossed against
The towering, thundering watercolor seas
Of sky. New-washed, chalk-drawn — my world
— unfenced,
Unlined, unsigned, it bears no scars of men.
Its velvet folk, androgynous, unflawed,
Move with a boneless grace from home to glen.
I stand and watch in joyous wonder, awed.

I need no spacebound ship, no mystic
passes
To reach my world. I just take off my
glasses.

from Minerva Wakes, Copyright © 1994

I clearly remember the day I wrote this sonnet. It was a North Carolina summer day with a thunderstorm building but not yet arrived. The trees had that particularly vivid green they only have when their backdrop is the black underbellies of clouds, the flowers in my yard glowed like jewels, and I ran outside without my glasses on to check the mail before the rain started. I happened to look down the street to my neighbor’s house as I was pulling the mail out of the box, and realized that not only could I not see the power lines that ran down the street (though I could still see the poles), but I also couldn’t see that particular neighbor very well. I had no idea whether the person getting into the car was even male or female, but the movements he or she made looked, to my new-minted vision, sleek and elegant. The world had no trash to my new eyes, the houses looked soft and perfectly painted and new.

I ran inside and wrote the poem in about a half an hour, and a couple of years later, when I wrote the book Minerva Wakes, I decided Minerva Kiakra, the protagonist, would wear glasses — and stuck the poem in the book.

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