Friday, September 23, 2005
The Funeral of Tommy O'Shaughnessy
Cold on his regular steam-heated grate.
Bobby the Grifter was tippling his red,
Nursing the bottle in poor Tommy's stead;
Tommy was rigored as stiff as a board,
Bobby in sympathy drunk as a lord.
Solly and Molly and all the old crew
Stood there debating what course to pursue;
Far as they knew they were Tom's next o’ kin—
"Just as much fam'ly as anyone's been."
"Let's call the cops," bleary Bobby opined;
Solly and Molly politely declined.
(Both were successfully staying at large
Dodging some picayune larceny charge.)
Benny the Weasle had little to say,
Mumbling and stumbling his typical way,
Ground in the mill of a million mistakes,
Half pint of Mogen ahead of the shakes.
Molly insisted that something be said,
Seeing how Tommy was lying there dead;
Billy the Preacher pulled out a worn Book,
Flipping the pages, a cursory look—
Said a few words and recited some lines,
Noting the absence of heirs and assigns;
Bidding farewell on behalf of the gang,
Ambulance men cutting short the harangue—
Summoned by someone whom chance had sent by:
Half-way Samaritan spied a dead guy.
Thus ended Tommy, and just his bad luck:
Zipped in a bag, trundled onto the truck.
Lifetime of dissolute living come due,
Tommy's expressionless eyes bid adieu.
Bottles were passed, so that all could partake;
Molly and Solly and those at the wake
Hiked to the mission, where everyone ate,
Telling the padre that Tommy was “late.”
© 2005 Jeffrey Hull