Glass Eye

We lived in the cottage by the river

where it stood like milk

with the smell of town. Mornings

were the frying of smelt,

the little knives with eyes,

and my aunt and my mother and my sisters

chattered, buttering toast.

There were butterflies in the wallpaper

and my uncle would join us.

He had lost it

when a rifle burst. Snipers

had called to him from high trees.

He would descend

with his tie and vest and cufflinks,

smelling of aftershave and smiling,

looking at us with both eyes.

This poem appears in By Evening, winner of the Owl Creek book award,

copyright © 1992 Michael Cadnum



Let me be the colors you see

when you close your eyes. 

Photo:  Sara Hanif










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