Saturday, May 04, 2013

Veteran's Stories 1.0

Turlock, California - early 1950's;
     Houck's Drugstore - SE corner of West Main & South Broadway.

A legless & tattered man scuttling around on a platform cobbled together
     from discarded 2X4's & re-cycled roller-skates:  selling pencils.

Holding my father's hand, walking into the drugstore for - coffee & donuts;
     watching others - stepping-around and ignoring the legless man.

Dad always, every time ... bought one pencil for $5;
     $5 for one fucking pencil!

Whenever I asked Dad about the legless-man,
     his body seemed to become ... harder than it was
     (restraining some ... dark energy), and, then:
Modern-day war-pundits would say that my father's eyes
     took a "1000-yard stare" ... ("something that comes from
          looking for the enemy").
Looking into the eyes of the legless man,
My father's eyes were "tunneling-into-his-own-past":
     seeing, SEEING and re-living NOW what was then;
          LEYTE GULF - watching legs being blown off by Japanese bombs;

               terrorfied  that his legs would be the next to go.
Dropping $5 into the legless man's empty cigar-box
     without the compensation of a pencil
          would have dishonored & diminished them both.

Now, after all of these many years later, when I look into a mirror ...
     I see my father's eyes,

          Mirroring my eyes ...
               The eyes of a veteran ...

An  infinity  of veteran's  eyes.