Thomas Hubbard

The real uncle sam

GIs came home after WW2, raised hell for a while,
then found a wife and looked around for a house. 
Markets provided prefabricated house kits, delivered to your lot.  Pre-fabs. 
Buy them on the GI Bill. Put them up in a few days.  Crackerbox houses. 
Square, plain, two bedrooms, kitchen, bath and living room.  Plywood.  A
few of them are still around.  Crackerbox houses.

Half moon Sunday evening

She’s up there behind the LA fog,
floating across a sea of sadness
as she gazes ruefully down upon
the pain and suffering imposed by
this world’s richest.

Grandmother moon looks on, and
perhaps weeps a bit, but then she
recalls the guillotines of Paris, the
hard fates of Mussolini, of Hitler, of
those without compassion.

My cousins and I look to the sky, 
wishing, wishing to believe stories
about Grandmother’s dark side
peering into a future, seeing justice…
but she only looks, only sees.

The rest is up to us.

Thanks again for the Pineapple Shirt

Pineapple shirts make me happy, even if they’re not mine. 
It’s just way cool to see one sporting through a dreary afternoon. 
They make the sun shine, even at night. 
I remember leaning my ass against night-time fenders in gravel parking lots
behind little roadhouses of the sweet past, sharing smokes with my friends. 
Hot, heavy air would be pressing against the earth like a lover in climax,

a film of sweat always shining on my brow. 

But the pineapple shirt you gave me when we were pulling apart, Tootsie,

Yes, that hundred percent silk, flat-tailed, slit-sided, short sleeve pineapple
shirt, black with the beautiful off-green flower design, yes, that one
still hangs in my closet for special occasions, or days like today, 
days when those memories of ours clamor just outside my consciousness…
that shirt has two breast pockets, a joint stashed in each.

I take it down from the hanger and put it on, and the raw, rough silk
touches me softly, reminds me who I am, tells me I’m still cool despite
the losses, the aging, the loneliness that keeps returning…
this shirt will carry me through the day like so many times before,
when the breaks just won’t come, when the music won’t play, and
it will take the place of real love until a woman comes into my life
who will fit as well as you seemed to, even if she’s not really mine.

And again, thanks for the pineapple shirt, Tootsie.