Dollars - Poem by Gerard Smyth
Grandmother never allowed the electric in
because it was that fearful thing
that killed her son in America.
The boy who sent back dollar bills,
who in his stiff white collar
and antique tweeds looked down on us
from the cherrywood frame,
his place of honour.
Grandmother became a book
of bewilderment after the bad news
appeared in the long-distance telegram,
a message that remained for years
on the big open dresser
with its rows of cups, like commas;
it brimming jugs with rustic scenes.
And higher up on the dresser's peaks
she kept the dollars out of reach.
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