Monday, July 02, 2007


Our Daddy was a thirsty man
with brothers who were thirsty too:
they joined the Navy after Pearl
and fought, and won, and got the girl,
and played the heroes on the avenue
till glory ended, life began.

Joe, the eldest, beauty’s boy,
stationary engineer,
refined his Jimmy Cagney mask
and labored at his silver flask;
he chased his blended malt with beer,
became a problem to employ.

Gerry, Grandma’s baby bright,
darling of the Jesuits,
went to Fordham on the Bill,
and went to live on Beacon Hill
with other boring, wealthy twits,
steeping sneaky, day and night.

Between them was our Daddy, Jack,
Golden Glover, lightning hooks,
a cat, who couldn’t drink his tea
without a shot of J&B.
He never lost his youthful looks,
always landed on his back.

Joe went first: his yellow moon
declining in a yellow bed,
jackolantern begging wine
of any come to check his signs.
At thirty-seven, he was dead;
we drank his health all afternoon.

Gerry was a real surprise.
Liver in the common twist,
he coughed up cold cash for hope,
but the doctor coiled his stethoscope,
told him he’d be greatly missed.
We toasted Gerry’s quick demise.

When Daddy left our dwindling scene
Grandma’s teeth were tinctured green
by the minty dram she loved so well,
that helped her send her sons to hell.
Thumbing shut his thirsty lids,
she swore to raise his thirsty kids.

1 comment:

pundy said...

That's rather moving and has the unmistakeable ring of truth.