Halloween will make your child scream (36132)

Cornea: The transparent part of the outer coat of the eyeball.

The cornea covers the iris and pupil. Light enters through a transparent curved shell called the cornea, the space immediately behind which is filled with a liquid aqueous humor.

Hundreds of men, women and children are waiting patiently for cornea transplants to restore their sight, which are available from the Eye Bank of New York. This organization depends upon corneas harvested from persons who agreed to donate them upon their death.

An organization known as the New York Registry maintains the names of donors. By merely signing the back of your driver’s license, you enable the registry to allow transplants to take place. Online registry can also take place at eyedonation.org.

A few years ago, I addressed this gift of sight with a poem:

“An I for an Eye”

It has been written

An eye for an eye

I asked,

Why an eye for an eye?

When one can give

An I for an eye

In other words,

The eye is part of

The living I

And will not function

If the I dies.

It is therefore clear

That the eye is eternal only

As long as the I survives,


As long as the I loved the I

I will give an

Eye for an eye

If you and I are


Information concerning cornea transplants can be obtained from the Eye Bank of New York at eyedonation.org or by calling (212) 742-9000.

During the Korean War, I was part of a unit that helped identify those who had died in battle. I often reflect now on all of the wasted organs that could have saved so many who needed transplants in a peaceful nation. The following poem, I share with you.

“Transplant Organs with a War-Ranty”

Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye

Perfect organs are available

For harvesting and transplanting

Accessible with a war-ranty

Unfortunately, brains are unavailable

The organs are fresh and unblemished.

They have been removed

Without pain or refusal

From fallen soldiers and innocent casualties

Of many nations.

There are fresh corneas

To restore lost vision

That enjoyed

Technicolor flowers

And the rising and setting of Brother Sun.

Plenty of healthy hearts

To replace broken hearts

Which were filled with forgotten

Memories of days gone by.

Precious kidneys galore

Are salvageable to remove waste

To cleanse bodies and souls

To provide holy water for baptism.

Come one, come all

To the battlefields and bombed out cities.

It’s harvest time for organs

That have a war-ranty not to fail

Even if we humans have failed God,

The creator of us all.

To quote Thomas Adams (1612-1653), an English Anglican clergyman and historian, “The eye is the pulse of the soul, as physicians judge the heart by the pulse, so we, by the eye.”

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