Free on the Orphan’s Tab

(There’s a mystery kid)

in some family photos
he’s all big eyes red cheeks
and an oversized cardigan

out of place snow in summer
a hair strand on your mouth
not irritating but there

I think his name was Johnny
he’s as Catholic as his knees
with a rally in his pose

earlier years my sisters holding me
between them my bended legs
like a chimpanzee wrestling

squirming shy to get away
from that pumped up Santa
garden gnome on steroids

my dummy looks like
it’s been dropped a few times
and I don’t like clowns

once Johnny bit fat Christmas
on his stubby good will hand
a celtic arc through detente

winked at me getting down
wave of fringe sweeping
a straw cleaning broom

the next picture’s blurry
I’m all giddly goo smiles
free on the orphan’s tab







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