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Charlie French

by Edgar Lee Masters, 1916

Did you ever find out
 Which one of the O'Brien boys it was
 Who snapped the toy pistol against my hand?
 There when the flags were red and white
 In the breeze and "Bucky" Estil
 Was firing the cannon brought to Spoon River
 From Vicksburg by Captain Harris;
 And the lemonade stands were running
 And the band was playing,
 To have it all spoiled
 By a piece of a cap shot under the skin of my hand,
 And the boys all crowding about me saying:
 "You'll die of lock-jaw, Charlie, sure."
 Oh, dear! oh, dear!
 What chum of mine could have done it?

Published in Spoon River Anthology

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