Wake Forest Nursing Home: Interview
Cloyd, Born 1893

As a carpenter, that’s how I lost my eye.
A nail sprung up and jabbed right in.
That was in . . . 1920 . . . I was twenty -seven.
I’d been home from the Great War nearly two years.
Here I’d been all through Aingland and France,
Been shot at and gassed, even got bayonetted
In my left leg by a Gerry. I kilt him, though.
I still gotta slight limp, but I got my life.
I come home to Louise as the war ended.
My uncle built barns and tobacco houses.
He learned me the carpentry trade and
With the work regular, me and Louise lived right well.
I’d wake nights, for months after, though, from dreamin’
Of the tussle with the Gerry. Sometimes I’d see
His wife and kids standin’ over me,
A knife in her hands, reachin’ our to stab me,
Me pulling my bayonet outta his chest.
The little girl’d be screamin’ and the wife
Rushed in on me, I’d feel that steel sink deep.
That’s when I’d wake up screamin’ myself.
After I lost my eye, the dreams stopped.
That mighta been the Lord’s way of evening
The score. I took one o’ his children in anger,
And he took one o’ my eyes. I figure I paid.
I figure I’m right with the Lord.