The Eye, A Poem by Chris Russell

It was a sunny afternoon. It was the kind you dream about. Which was why when I saw a man urinating on a car in the parking lot after work, I paid no mind to it and continued on my routine walk home. Nothing was going to get in the way of my good time vibe. Then it clouded over really quickly and started to drizzle. But somehow just a memory of sunshine cut through the rain. I was looking at the red maple leaves trembling above my neighbor’s roof, when I heard something whizz by my ear. Randall Killwicky came running over. “I almost killed you with that rock,” he said. “It was a pretty close one,” I said. “Stay right there,” he said. Randall backed up near a hundred paces and picked up another. “Hold still,” he said. “How still?” I said. “Look over there,” he said. “Good call,” I said. He threw another rock and it hit me in the eye and knocked it out. I didn’t see where it went because I was too busy holding my face. “Did you see where it went?” I said. “No,” he said. “You’re good with those rocks,” I said. “I missed my calling as a professional rock thrower,” he said. “Help me find it,” I said. A squirrel trotted over with my eye in its mouth. “Shit on a shell,” I said. “We might be in trouble,” Randall said. “I’m not sure it’s worth an attack,” I said. “Maybe if we trade it something like a French fry,” he said. The squirrel ate my eye, and I felt a great emptiness wash over me. “There’s nothing we could have done,” I said. “It was pretty much meant to be,” Randall said. “There are more important things than an eye,” I said. I’m sorry, Pete. I never should have thrown that rock,” he said. “What rock? I said. The squirrel pranced into a nearby leaf pile and started to chase its tail, kicking leaves all over the place. “He looks happy,” “Oh, he’s just peaches,” Randall said.

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