My Grandfather The Tailor
Poem By OWEN I.A. ROCHE
My grandfather the tailor was a stocky Ukrainian.
By day he worked in the sweat shops,
By evening cold chicken and tea.
A lump of sugar for him and one for me.
And then he'd say, ' I'm going to the corner.
I'm going down.'
' This is for the old man, ' my grandma would tell me,
Looking into the icebox floor.
A bottle of seltzer water, some more cold chicken.
'Who is the old man? '
Him. The one who just went down.The one she hid
The money from, pinned deep under three fruit o' the loom
My grandma and I would sit on her bed. I'd twirl her old
Umbrella and listen to the steam come up the wall.
' Grandma, why do you spit at the Gypsies and curse
At the Spanish guitar? '
The window by the fire escape is open. The sounds
Come up from the bar.
My grandfather has gone to the corner.
He hasn't gone far.
Poem by Sheila Clare Roche-Harmon