portion of the artwork for Mather Schneider's poem

Shannon’s Oasis
Mather Schneider

Shannon was born four months premature
to a crackhead mom.

She was so small
you could see her heart

like a goldfish
under paper-thin ice.

The hospital lights ripped and ruined
her tiny retinas

and the doctors didn’t give her
a month

but somehow here she is
30 years later

blindly limping toward my taxi on
taffy legs

with Lloyd,
her loyal yellow lab

guiding the way.
Lloyd climbs into the cab,

sinks to the floor
with a happy huff

and then Shannon feels her way
in like a spelunker.

When she’s comfortable
I drive her to the public pool

where she sits peacefully
every Tuesday

under her dark umbrella
with her braille book she doesn’t read,

preferring to just listen
to the children splashing,

moving her hand in
and out of the shade.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 47 | Spring 2016