Uncle Jackie

| 02 Nov 2023 | 02:35

My aunt would say
“run this down to Jackie”
on a Sunday afternoon
Spuds, carrots
and a slice of roast

Me, a boy of ten

Two doors down he was
two floors up.
Above the Flaherty sisters,
Sissy and Nora,
who fancied him,
back in the day.
Before he went to the war

The radio low,
jacket on a chair.
A bottle and fedora,
pack of Luckies on formica.
He asked me my name once,
though I was his sister’s boy,
and gave me a dime
on an Easter morn,
outside St Bonaventure’s

Went to see him today,
a name written on a stone
His year read 1974
My ma told me that he had died
thirty years before,
but hadn’t the sense to lay down
And I’ve never had cause to doubt my mother

By Robert Emmett McGrogan
Westtown, NY