Kill the King, Leo

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic


KILL THE KING, LEO

 

It is night again,

and my grandmother June

and my great-hunchbacked

Uncle Leo are playing poker again.

 

The water is undrinkable here,

unless you douse it with Kool-aid,

or better yet- forget the water and go

straight to whiskey,

as my grandmother June

and my great- hunchbacked

Uncle Leo are doing

as they play poker again.

 

We are so small tonight, my brother and me,

hunkered down low in our cousin's bed

to avoid my grandmother June

and my great- hunchbacked

Uncle Leo as they slowly die,

(Drunk and alone),

playing poker downstairs again.

 

'This is the King, Leo!

You know what you must do

to the King, don't you?

This is the King.

You've got to kill it, Leo...'

 

'Oou dunk, joon.

I not gau ta kill the king.

Oou dunk, joon.'

 

'Leo, gawd damn you-

It's the damn King,

and if you don't kill the son-of-a-bitch,

I will, gawd damn you.'

 

'Oou tarred, joon.

Oou go bed now

I wan to see the moo tows.'

(moo cows)

 

So the King did not die that night,

nor any other night my Grandmother June

and my great-hunchbacked

Uncle Leo played poker and drank whiskey,

dead and alone in the kitchen.

 

I learned years later

that my grandmother June's

first and only king had fallen

on Anzio Beach in 1944,

making Western Pennsylvania

safe for unemployed coal miners

and alcohol salesmen.

 

So one night, I went downstairs

and played penny poker with Grandma June,

and my late hunchbacked Uncle Leo,

and this time the King was spared

by a grandson who finally

learned the score.


Submitted: February 04, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Michael Pollick. All rights reserved.

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