Willie’s House (Great-Grandpa’s Poem)
Lightening bugs in the front yard,
Rotten apples in the back.
We knew what to do with both
While the grown-ups played Sheep’s Head inside,
The sounds of shuffling cards and laughter clear.
We’d come in after dark and
The old man would feed us ice cream or
Give us a Barq’s for the road.
When our parents protested he’d say
“You leave those kids alone!”
In the spare bedroom was his wife’s wig,
Toys and the forbidden “Fart Book”.
If we were naughty we’d get spanked or
Have to sit on the porch by the “little nigger boy”
With his hat on and fishing pole in hand.
Somehow the adults knew
We were less afraid of the spanking.
He was full of sayings we still use in our family:
“Good enough for the girls I go with.”
“I was so confused I didn’t know which way to point my pecker.”
“If I had that and he had a feather, we’d both be tickled.”
“Hurt your finger? Soak it in cider.”
It’s been a dozen years since he died.
I don’t remember talking to him much,
But I still say the things he said,
Play the card game he played,
Share the last name he gave.