Tom Who Was Like a Grandfather

Tom took me to church once

He was an old Irishman

Thick in the waist, red faced, give you his shirt.

On weekends he drank schnapps in the Poe Cozy Nook down the street.

Sometimes he watched me, like that Sunday.

First we passed some time in

His apartment which

Had framed pinups of girls on every wall

I loved them very much.

Then we walked to church.

Tom said to just do what he did

So I kneeled when he did and

Crossed myself

Spoke in tongues when people prayed out loud.

I have old black and white photos of Tom and me

He is holding my hand in front of our apartment building.

Another one, digging in the sand with me at Orchard Beach

While my mother sunbathed.

We moved away when I was ten

My father was back from soldiering

And doing well

My mother lost touch with Tom

And sometime along, as Tom was walking home from the bar

One evening

He was mugged and killed and his corpulent body left in a vacant lot.

We found out by chance.

About Karen To and Fro

Everything you didn't want to know about me!
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