Morgan Michaels

From Dinner With Carl At Gene's - Poem by Morgan Michaels

Carl was a ladder man but left the department twenty years ago, on disability. I personally wrote the letter convincing the Board to honor his suit, he reminded me and unwillingly, I remembered. It had something to do with hand arthritis, and both hands, at that. Groping for details, I failed, having blocked them out, clearly. Disability was never my forte. Besides, it was ages ago. But, according to Carl, the facts were inescapable. Alone, I was responsible for twenty years of subsistence leisure, financed by the state and, therefore, the tax payer. It boggled me that a simple letter could have such far-reaching effect, but as Carl said, it cinched the case, no mistake. I retained my doubts. A poet once said 'of our greatest deeds we are ignorant'. This was obviously such a case and it scared me, all that money, but there was no denying his claim.

Carl's life of leisure allowed him to pursue his true vocation- the care and feeding of his aged mom. His life was sacrificed for hers and he wasn't gay or anything to my knowledge. They lived for decades behind a locked door- one of a row of doors on the north side of Washington Square. It was the same house Edward Hopper lived in, I suspected, when I saw the address, but I doubted Carl would be much use in confirming it for I doubted he much distinguished between Edward Hopper and Boss Tweed. So I didn't ask.It might alarm him. Evidently, life was satisfying for both. Carl's parents were only-children and so was Carl. That made him a pure strain, of sorts, and accounted for his devotion, maybe-for I could detect no reclusive tendencies in him and he seemed out-going enough, maintaining an active presence at fire house business meetings and going every year to 9/11 memorials, despite 'dwindling attendance', as he put it. Italians are like that- family ties are real important, and Carl's parents were from Genoa, I learned. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

His mom had been a seamstress...

Topic(s) of this poem: love

Comments about From Dinner With Carl At Gene's by Morgan Michaels

  • Abdulrazak Aralimatti (9/5/2015 8:46:00 AM)

    I salute the Italians for giving great importance to family ties and to the poet for giving valuable information. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, August 29, 2015

Poem Edited: Saturday, August 29, 2015

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