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Photo by Fee Easton

One Stop Poetry Challenge – the Photography of Fee Easton had five wonderful photographs posted today.  The challenge is to choose one of the photos and write a poem or short fiction about the photo.  The photo above is Option #4.  It really caught my eye, (no pun intended!), and the result is the following poem:

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The Lad With Two Good Eyes
© 2011 Paula Tohline Calhoun

When I was a lad I had two good eyes, see –
And there weren’t nothin’ could ever surprise me.
Me Da took me huntin’ for deer and quail –
Hardly a time did my gun an’ me fail.

Wherever I went the lassies would follow,
Somethin’ their laddies found hard to swallow.
But I had a smile, and a winnin’ way –
And t’was a right smart dancer, least that’s what
they’d say.

Never thought much about settlin’ down –
Too much fun bein’ “best bloke” in town!
But sooner or later they’d all want a ring,
And expected me to want the same thing.

I didn’t care much what they wanted or thought,
T’wasn’t ever too long before we fought.
So I’d swagger away with me two good eyes
Never was much for farewells or goodbyes.

But the world got in trouble, and went to war,
And I had what me country was lookin’ for:
A fella with two good eyes who could shoot.
So I joined with me mates, and we learned to salute.

They shipped us off with our guns to fight,
Told us to kill, that our cause was right.
So I’d kill when I had to, I saw comrades die,
‘Til an enemy’s bullet took out me left eye.

They fixed what they could, told me I was well,
I got discharged and went home for a spell.
With less of a swagger, not much of a smile,
I roam through the city for mile after mile.

Some of the lassies who knew me when,
Will stop, smile politely, hurry off again.
“The kids are home waitin’! Gotta run!” they say,
But I can tell they’s tryin’ to get away.

I wish ’em well, then turn to go,
I understand, but even so
Me heart aches for the kind o’ life
I might’ve had if I’d taken a wife.

Me life as a laddie before the war
Is gone, replaced now by a scar
That cuts down far beneath me skin
And shows me what I lost within.

 The lad with the smile and two good eyes,
 The one who could dance, but wanted no ties,
 Stands alone in the crowd each Armistice day,
 Salutes when the flag is paraded his way.
 
 And when it’s all over, the sun has set,
 He ponders the life he has now as a vet.
 And remembers when nothin' caught him
      by surprise,
 That lad with the smile, and two good eyes.

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As always, I wish you all enough. . . 

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