For Memorial Day–”One-Eyed Jack”

One-Eyed Jack

If you wanna hear some war tales
go see one-eyed Jack
you’ll find him near the steak house
in the alleys ’round the back

Everyone knows he’s a veteran
of what, he never tells
but there’s glory in his stories
and man, he tells them well

Sometimes they’re set in jungles
and sometimes desert sands
he praises all the fallen men
and tells of their last stands

The VA pays his room rent
but he can’t stand the walls
as soon as he awakens
he’s rolling down the halls

He loves those charcoal breezes
their fragrance takes him back
to days when he was tall and strong
and known as simply Jack

But don’t jump to conclusions
as he rolls down the street
it’s not war, but diabetes
that took his legs and feet

(reprinted with permission, from
Street People Tales by Betsy A. Riley,
Blue Dragon Press, December  2011)

 

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One Response to For Memorial Day–”One-Eyed Jack”

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