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He was seven and I was six, my Brendon Gallacher.He was Irish and I was Scottish, my Brendon Gallacher.His father was in prison; he was a cat burglar.
Dada taught me cards.Sitting in his suit of pants and vest.A fistful of joker-red hair strewn across his brow.His big belly like a cannon ball.
Say, Good mornin, Granny MaamaGood mornin, Grandpa Taata.Good mornin when it rainin.Good mornin when sun shinin.Good mornin.
Give me a smilewith lips stretched wide as a rubber bandand in between a set of straight white teethdazzling like a mirror ball.
Five children clasping mittenscould not hug the entire trunk.Whole hands could hide in the folds of its bark.James, the tallest boy in class,could sit on a root,
Late again Blenkinsop?What's the excuse this time?Not my fault sir.Whose fault is it then?Grandma's sir.Grandma's. What did she do?
Dada has stories from Calcuttawrapped up in his big belly.When he belched they would unravel.
His name is called and there's a pause
just long enough to halt a war
tame timber wolves and trim their claws
hide diamonds in a secret drawer
He swears on his mother's life he wasn't there.
And if he was there
he swears on his mother's life it wasn't him.
And if it was him
Dog in the playground:Oh, no he don’t.He’ll come with me,You see if he won’t.