The Web Poetry Corner - James Bredin - The Boaster
I met Setanta in the seventies when we worked digging graves,
At the Mount Pleasant Cemetery we used shovels and spades.
We worked day and night year in year out in cold and heat and dust,
But each time we sat to drink our tea, I listened in disgust.
As he boasted ‘bout the house he bought which I did not begrudge,
And the girl he wed and the things she said -- she even knew a judge.
I heard about her jewelry and her expensive leather coat,
With sheepskin lining down to her knees, he would gloat and gloat and gloat.
I heard about the trips they made to Mexico or somewhere else down south,
And how the weather was so hot when they tried to walk about.
I head all about the cruise ships too like some ancient Greek fables,
When they got that special invitation to eat at the captain’s tables.
I heard about his furniture, all wicker and imported,
From jungle places far away, especially picked and sorted.
I heard about the car he drove with those shiny chrome wheels,
And how they ate in restaurants and all those fancy meals.
I heard about the church he loved with all those pompous pious priests,
And at the Christmas party how his kids got very special treats,
And the school they attended which was only French immersion,
His kids he said studied day and night; no time for much diversion.
As the years went by we changed a bit and worked at other places,
But now and then we’d meet again sometimes at the races.
He boasted ‘bout the horses and the jockeys that he knew,
But I knew by his winnings that he didn’t have a clue.
Sometimes I would see him outside the grocery store,
Though I often tried to hide from him and used the other door.
But he told me ‘bout his kid’s new job, working in a grocery store,
And all that management training and the special clothes he wore.
Then I read about his other son who was somehow sent to jail,
The one Setanta never talked about; from whom they’d take no bail.
I went looking for Setanta, which I had never done before,
For once in my life I felt compelled to ask him more and more and more.