The Nicest Guy You Ever Met

The widows in the Catskills
loved my father.
They ran their fingers through
his wonderful silver hair
and marveled at his virility.
When he was 82
we found a giant box of Trojans
in the glove compartment
of his totaled car.
That was before
he started hearing Mafioso
talking through the plumbing
and saw the Germany army
advancing on the front lawn.
Because of some imagined sleight
he re-christened Father’s Day
as Holocaust Day
and referred to his son-in-law
as “the bum your sister married,”
deriding his many illnesses
as proof of bad genes.
Before they carted him off
to Sunset Hills home,
he drew aside the curtains
in the ER
and gave a hearty ovation
to doctors and patients alike.
“Nice performance,” he said.
“You can all go home now.”
They finally
got the medication right
and he became
what he had always been
for widows and grandchildren,
the nicest guy you ever met.


(originally published in Y’All”D’Ve)

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