An Eye For An Eye ~ The Ballad of Old Charlie

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An Eye For An Eye

Old Charlie rose at half past two
with a debt to pay, long overdue.
An eye for an eye was how he played,
and the time had come that the debt was paid.

It was a year ago, today, she died...
and his bitter tears had long since dried.
Retribution was, at long last, due...
as old Charlie rose at half past two.

He saw her face in the starry sky
and he heard her voice in the soft wind's sigh...
He felt her touch in his fondest dreams,
but was haunted by her final screams.

They took her life and her virtue too...
washed it down with a pint of brew,
Lit the house with an old barn torch,
Then, laughed and spit on the old wood porch.

Now the day had come for this hell to end...
The justice due time refused to mend.
He had had his fill and the debt was due...
So old Charlie rose at half past two.

He donned his gun in the dead of night.
Knew he would win this, his final fight.
He had played it out a thousand times
to collect his due on the Beachem's crimes.

Gossip had it, brothers, Bart and Dred,
were camped out down by the river bed...
That's where they would now pay in spades
to float face down in the river glades.

Now Charlie did what he aimed to do...
he shot them both, for his aim was true.
Tossed Bart and Dred into the drink,
then, sat down on a log to think...

Tears rolled down old Charlie's face,
as he said a prayer for forgiving grace.
He put the barrel up to his head,
and that's how Charlie left his stead.

Old Charlie'd rose at half past two
with a debt to pay, long overdue.
An eye for an eye was how he played,
but he could not face her till the debt was paid.

"Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved."










Comments 23 comments

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Wow. Great style and imagery.


bbnix profile image

bbnix 5 years ago from Southern California

Truth and honor, in today's harried world, seem much like empty lost words that float and lay slaughtered.

So a quiet resolve is how I evolve, for my life I do assert a justice dessert.

Just as Charlie, so dear, who's love was so clear, I'll protect with great assertion, but God help those who harm a hair of my love's devotion...

Big hugs and light kisses..


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

This is a haunting and beautiful ballad - full of rich detail of a tragic avenging angel - loved reading it.. very well done!


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

mckbirdbks, thank you, kindly! I appreciate your visit and great comment!


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

bb, thank you! You always give such great comments, it makes writing a joy. I appreciate you! Hugs!


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

Docmo, I so appreciate your awesome comment! Thank you!


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

Wow, great style, great ballad


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

A very moving story. Thank you.


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

mentoru2wealth, this poem was a bit outside of my normal realm of writing, started out with that first line running over and over in my head for a couple of days....I had no idea where it would lead, but when I finally committed that first line to paper, it seemed to head to its own conclusion!

It is weird how that happens sometimes. I appreciate your visit and comment!


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

Ruby H Rose, Thank you! I appreciate your time to read this little piece and your sweet comment!


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

Again, Spirit Whisperer, thank you! This one kind of wrote itself...I appreciate you! Hugs!


tumblintumblweed profile image

tumblintumblweed 5 years ago

Awesome piece,my friend...wouldn't expect anything less!

Kudos to you!


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

Thank you, Janet! I appreciate your read and comments, as always!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

I didn't expect the ending! I like how you told a tale of the old days in a poem! You would probably like the movie "Unforgiven" with Clint Eastwood. It's his best by far.


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

Thank you, Fossillady, to be honest, I didn't expect the ending either! And I will see Unforgiven...love old Clint and love Westerns too!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

Excellent, absolutely excellent...a great story in verse. thanks for sharing. WB


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

Wayne, coming from you, that is most excellent praise. I am tickled! Thank you, Sir!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago

A western poem , now there's a true poetry form.....


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

ahorseback, I've always thought I was born in the wrong era, and belonged back there in the West...lol. This didn't start out as a Western, but took on a mind of its own, and wandered back there...much to my pleasant surprise! I could sure see them Beachem brothers floating in the glades...rotten apples, them boys! Thank you, Sir, for your visit! Always a pleasure!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York

Love your writing style!


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago Author

Thank you, tillsontitan! I appreciate your visit and comment!


BeyondMax profile image

BeyondMax 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

That was so captivating, my heart skipped a bit or two! What a masterful storytelling, Marsha, that's just unreal real! Awesome, the best!


No_Clue 4 years ago

Awwww shucks, Max! Thanks and thanks again!

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