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by Laura Nutt, Grand Prairie, TX

Editor's Note: Thank you, Laura, for agreeing to share your poetry with us. Laura is a 13 year old who attends school at Truman Middle School in Grand Prairie. Laura, her brother, and her father recently received their first degree black belts in karate. Both Laura and her brother, William, have cone-rod degeneration. Although her vision is somewhat better than his, she has only about 30 degree visual fields and can not see past 10 feet. She and William study karate at the Grand Prairie Karate Academy under the guidance of Brax Boyd. Another interest of Laura's is writing. Laura and her brother are working on a book this summer about learning karate. Laura met Patrick Houck, who is from Ashdown, Arkansas, at the "Visions for the Future" workshop in Texarkana, TX. When her teacher gave her the assignment of writing a poem about someone who inspired her, she chose to write about Patrick, a young man who inspires many people with his talent and determination. Thanks Jane Houck for sending this poem to me.

Glass Eyed Inspiration

by Laura Nutt, Grand Prairie, TX

As I sit in a cold hard chair
I wonder where this man is
This man they say is so divine
This man they say is blind
I kick the leg of this metal chair
A bit frustrated as I stare
At a blank white wall
The others around begin to shout and play
And I think how can they be so bold and
How can they be so jumpy
To me I am in a cave filled with crazy noisy play
I know I should stay and listen
But this urge to run to Mom is growing
And just about when I've had enough
The crowd hushes
I hear footsteps and a voice giving directions
My interest grows
My ears strain to listen
I squint at a man in white
I wonder
Is this the man they speak of
Could this man possibly be the one amusing thing today
He speaks and I am excited
He tells of a gun shot to the head
His sudden blindness
The glass eyes he has to wear
In replace of his own ruined by a bullet
He starts the demonstration
A kata
Some sparing
The whole time I am awed by his performance
The agility of his kicks
The power of his punches
The way he finds his opponent
A loud crack and a one-inch board is broken
Then two
I can hardly believe the truth
This man with no real eyes renders the audience speechless
With his amazing talent
He calls me up
I am shown a kick
My legs placed in the right position
I hardly remember the incident
Just the feelings running through me
When the man is gone I beg my Mom
Let me take karate
She refuses
But I persist

A year later I stand in gomamt
In a dojo
In front of my sensei
All because of one man with glass eyes