Boston is surrounded by drumlins, hills the Great Glacier forced from the earth.
The grandfather I was named for bought a house on one of these hills,
large enough for all to live and squabble in, even beyond his death –
his widow, one daughter, three sons, their wives, and their children, including me.
The War was meanwhile raging, but the sons weren’t in it – one was insane,
and my father’s heart was bad (he died of it years later).
As I was born that winter, during a blizzard,
my cousins in Europe were being killed.
The citizens around Boston, responsive to European notions,
listened to Fathers Feeney and Coughlin and one of them, one sunny naptime,
threw a rock through a window of that big house on the hill.
It landed in my crib, but next to me. And so I survived.