My grandfather had one eye.
All of us were fascinated -
we kids could show it.
He usually wore a glass eye in the socket,
but he could pop it out and pass it around
just like a marble.
Sometimes he wore a black patch 
like a pirate.
And sometimes he just let the barren lid
lie there and pulse.
He told us a different story every day
about how he lost his eye.
He'd grown up on a farm - 
he told us once a mule had kicked his head, so hard his eyeball flew
right over the cornfield.
Another time, 
his eye got poked out by a pitchfork
during haying - that's why
you don't get careless
handling pitchforks and such.
He'd been a lumberjack -
a falling tree had scratched his eye out;
a flying ember from the cookfire
fried his eyeball in the socket
just like an egg in a pan.
He used to smoke, and we shouldn't ever -
he smoked a cigar down too close once
and burned his own eye out.
I spent an entire evening
quietly trying to unpuzzle that one -
I think that's why he told it to me.

When I was sixteen he told me
his Dad used to drink, a lot.
His Dad used to beat him when he drank.
He used to beat him with a chain.

One study indicates that there are certain things that appear in the family history of almost all people diagnosed with bipolar disorder:

  • alcoholism
  • depression
  • domestic abuse
  • suicide
  • allergies
  • fibromyalgia
  • colitis

Family History

Bipolar Child


Happy Hypomania

Emotional Olympics

The Geographical Cure





Who the Hell Am I?

It Does Get Better

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© Anitra L. Freeman 15 December 1999