Mr. Penney

Poppy was from a small village near Minsk,
And then a grocer in a small Memphis shop
Already then in the bad part of town.
They called him
Mr. Penney,
The prior owner's name.
His father, a peddler, pushed a cart through town and
Died before anyone could remember.
Grandma wore an apron,
Helped stock the few shelves,
Canned goods, meats, cigarettes.
They figured out how to
Make a living
And three boys
Who had the freedom to
Grow up in black and white America
And away from them,
To speak without accents,
Obedient and deferential.
Poppy died from tired lungs and a weak heart,
Grandma from too much caring and a broken one.
I carry the torch for them
So my children, less one,
Will visit Minsk one day to
Discover everything lost to hate,
And visit me
Memorializing Mr. Penney.

© Poem Fix 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment