Birdshot shock

We wanted to share this very moving poem as we are sure it will resonate with most members who will know exactly the experience Margaret is talking about. Margaret was the opening BUS speaker at the 2012 Birdshot Day.    Thank you so much.


In that dark room,

chin cupped,

brow banded,

eyes dilated,

unmoving, dumb

before the bright slitted light.

‘Look up’

‘Look down’

‘To the right’

‘To the left’.

In that blurred

pink-tinged room –



Echoing gunshot.

Exploding fear.

Bird wings beat

on ribcage.




In that dark room

a life shot down.


in the smeared world,

by the bus stop,

a bird sings.

Margaret Gilmour  February 2012


3 thoughts on “Birdshot shock

  1. ….and, I suspect, true for anyone with any kind of visual disability.
    Very poignant – a part of humanity which doctors can’t get to see with any slit-lamp or OCT.

    “A life shot down”. Nothing more needs to be said.


  2. When I was first diagnosed, the cock-eyed optimist in me just couldn’t hear it. Now that I have traveled the road of chronic illness, medications and changed sight for close to 2 years, I understand the ramifications even more – in the next 2 years, I will understand more deeply again… And the most moving thing about all of it is the bird singing in the “smeared world” (wonderful language) at the bus stop. Keep singing. Keep hearing the song. Thank you for this poem.

  3. Thanks for your comment Lauren – it is really moving. Keep talking too! It is the best way to be in control of this disease rather than letting it control you.


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