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
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
He was mugged and killed and his corpulent body left in a vacant lot.
We found out by chance.