The Loyal Corps of Optometrists

Secret agents falsely credentialed as optometrists –
how immaculate they were in their white tunics! –
prescribed monocles for the bellicose bosch aristocrats,
lenses just astigmatic enough to skew key features
on their war maps (aggravated no doubt by cigar smoke) –
a ditch overlooked, a mountain misplaced,
tank columns halted by a bleb in the glass,
aerodromes eliminated by a strategic scratch,
casualties mounting, the front lines faltering,
an official investigation never determining the source
of the problem. These unsung heroes of optometry
ask no reward for their valour, only that they continue

to provide ocular services for the present office holders
plagued as they are by a virulent form of tunnel vision,
waiting in vain for a redemptive light to appear from afar,
counting the ties on the railroad tracks as they grope
their way into the gloom, deprived of the least scintilla,
bereft of any slight flicker, all of which can be soon
remedied by a deft alteration of their normal optics,
a tiny nick that concentrates light at the focal point
where expectations converge. As for those generals
who advocate slaughter, it takes but the sight of a gun
for their contacts to pop out, and it is customary for
the loyal optometrist to fashion new ones free of charge.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.