In the back building on Sabattus St.,
I used to think your eyes were like the eyes
of God, welcoming, attentive, bemused.
You needed those eyes, for though you could
whip your head around when a pretty girl
came in the room, that was all you could move
and your eyes were your arms, legs, hands
and voice. I’d hold two fingers in front of you
and you looked. Yankees – Red Sox?
Democrats – Republicans? Recliner by the window –
wheelchair at the table?
When Gina dropped her stuffie or Joe
was slumped in his wheelchair you told us
with the eyes of the Old Testament God,
and unlike they, who had learned to wait,
you expected us to do something right away.
So, Jim and I would say, We got it good buddy,
and each holding an arm and a leg
we pulled Joe up straight
and brought your chairs together,
so he would brush your arm
and you would smile at him content,
as though you never realized
this was a job for us, but thought it only part
of the world where you were used to loving
and being loved.
At your funeral, among the pictures
your mom displayed was one of you as a teenager,
all legs and smile, on a blanket at the beach,
and I’ve spent enough time on my knees
fastening tie downs in the back of the van
to know that getting you there was a feat.
How strange and wondrous, still
to sense the warmth of such a day.