SUMMER, 1943 – My Legend Begins

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.



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