It must’ve been unseasonably cold,
That late spring evening, when
My grandfather and his brother sat
Side-by-side before the fireplace;
Little kids warming their fingers.
It must’ve been wet firewood,
Sap-filled logs crackling & popping,
Spitting twin spark embers launched
In perfect parabolas, replayed in
Theatre of memory in slow motion.
It must’ve happened so fast.
No time for ducking and dodging.
A freak accident
Swift searing pain
Glowing embers taking one eye each –
My grandfather’s left
His brother’s right.
It must’ve been disheartening
To be the boy with the unblinking glass eye.
Who scared the other children
Or in my grandfather’s case, unable to
Pursue his boyhood dream of flight.
Listen to J. Archer Avery read his poem.
J. Archer Avary quit journalism to write poetry. His work has appeared in Little Old Lady Comedy, The Daily Drunk, Plum Recruit, Ariel Chart, Rye Whiskey Review and The Beatnik Cowboy. He left USA in 2014 and now lives in Guernsey. Twitter: @j_archer_avary