‘Tommy’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.

‘Tommy’
© Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Jet black pools in the yard;
Money gone, hope dwindling.
Puddles of black water drying.
Middle aged man crying.

His once overworked scales rusted;
In a state of redundancy
Shovels leaned in a state of unemployment
No longer required by labouring hands.

Ma ironed his seldom worn suit.
He wondered if his Bedford workhorse;
Would still be his on the morrow.
Fearful too for hard earned surrounding walls.

Learned men with wigs and cloaks,
Would seal his fate from high benches.
My mother bless her, silently served him tea.
She rested a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

In his troubled mind he managed a smile.
He patted her tiny hand in gentle appreciation.
I never ever told her that the night before;
I saw him knock his head three times on the wall.

Next morning he left like a shiny new pin,
She splashed him with Lourdes water.
But bankers seldom give second chances.
The black cloak delivered his worst fears.

A trusting soul was he, too trusting, benevolent to the needy.
Nowadays I hear their words, “Yer da was a grand fellow!”
I say nothing but I imagine the warmth of their living rooms.
Sometimes the compliments of creditors annoy me.

He didn’t live to emulate the Phoenix;
A foreign shore felt the weight of our footsteps.
When he came to terms with the hand he was dealt;
Tommy brought us home.

See: Joe Canning’s Poetry Page on Facebook

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