the restaurateur (for my uncle, Peter Romando)

she would swoop down on him.
Oh, Pete!  Those eyeglasses are filthy!
in one motion she’d remove his glasses
and carry them off to the kitchen
where she’d wash them quickly under the tap,
dry them deftly with her apron,
then return them to the bridge of his nose.

all the while he sat, unperturbed,
watching his TV program – his little
respite from his ever busy days –
be it cowboy or soap or a Lucy re-run
in the dying light of their afternoon.

did he even know she’d snatched the glasses,
and returned them to him, cleaned?
did he notice how much clearer
the TV picture seemed after
she placed the glasses on his face again?

how arduous were his days;
how simple and good his life!
later, after his death,
we discovered how much he had given
on credit to workers from the Mill,
no interest, given only in fellowship.

*    *   *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll  2012

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