That day Uncle Tom was a hero.
Mostly he was unpopular just for
living with us in the old family home —
taking up space, thinking it was his.
Occasionally he and Dad, bush-boxers,
had bloody fist-fights. But I worshipped him,
would tell my sister, "Tom's my Dad,
Daddy's your Dad." The grown-ups laughed.
That morning driving home from Mass
we were skylarking on the back seat —
the Dodge door swung. . . a strip of gravel
and yellow dust, my sister flew out.
Amidst the cries, Tom grabbed her
by one leg. They called it a miracle.