Brookhaven

Saturday afternoons,
my Grandfather, dressed in chinos
and a straw hat
would drive me to the Sealtest parlor downtown.
I always wore my Dallas Cowboys jumpsuit.
Grandpa got butter pecan.
I got lime sherbet.
The man behind the counter assured me
that lime sherbet was the preferred
flavor of the Dallas Cowboys.

My Grandmother, in a floral dress
often took me downtown to buy clothes.
I begged her to get me three pairs of
Tuff-Nut jeans so I could get the free pocketknife.
She objected, but quickly gave in.
Within hours I sliced my thumb wide open
and bled all over my new jeans.

Downtown, the Sealtest parlor is now
a video store.

Grandpa died when I was sixteen.

Grandma is ghost haunting herself
and can't remember my name.

But my sons eat the ice cream of their heroes
and will slice their fingers on their
first pocketknives.

by Tom Ramsey

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