Sundays With Tom
Tom picks at the sleeve on his decaf like it’s blistered skin on a fresh burn.
Unconscious, this tick of his. He fought in Vietnam and still goes back.
On different records far from here, we don’t speak to each other much.
Arizona won, Arizona lost, whatever. In my head Blind Willie McTell plays
a song I once covered at The Hut. In Tom’s head who knows.
He watches his alcoholic twin work mad push-ups in the lot.
How the church crowd, the cyclists, the dog enthusiasts miss him
I’ll never know. Some days Tom says that drunk holds on and won’t let go.
He cannot leave the house. A big woman in a Sunday dress strolls by. I think
“Savannah Mama” or “Love Makin’ Mama” would feel so good along my Gretsch.
Tom’s eyelids flutter rat-a-tat-tat rat-a-tat-tat, and he’s gone. It’s a twitch
he suffers when early services let out, and Le Buzz picks up its pace.
To me Jesus is just a smarter Santa Claus. When Tom tells me he saw Jesus
I believe he knows the truth. When the grinder begins to roar
his eyes go tight as trip wire. Whatever he sees, I wonder if it’s a trap.
Nice morning, Tom says. Wherever he goes, I grow easy when he comes back.