I always intended to look him up
but youth is careless with time
and when there was, I had to look down –
Legend said he was a lawyer in a former life
some rumours spoke of ejection …. others of spectacular abdication.
“I’m a painter son ” – the reply to the teenaged question.
Paint. It’s what we did
while the sun holidayed south.
Bleached mansions in a faded suburb
a once star, off the bottle and thinking comeback.
and no occupational health and safety –
un-dust masked lead paint
three tier scaffolding … “ Okay, time to shove the plank along.”
It was worthwhile for the money and entertainment value of the boss – Morrie
two syllables… nothing more ever needed.
At the hardware store. No invoice, only statement… “ For Morrie.”
Even if half, were half true!
With coffee, first-hand accounts of his battles –
with the town planning department
the street association
the Heritage Society
his wives : past and present. All abominable achingly hilarious
Flippant about himself and his ambitions
he told me, when the time came to purchase a house, to consult him
and he would tell me which ones not to.
Not a painter, a property developer
wide awake to the wide boys
a wheeler dealer and rogue, who every Friday lunchtime
handed over a bundle of notes … then drove me to the bank
and made sure I did : for my education.