Fat Bastard by Wayne F. Burke

I sailed down the hill
on my silver saucer
and when I hit road
I jumped up running
as long-legged Big Louie,
chased me;
his eyes squinted in a raisin-face
the white wall of my house in the distance
bounced up and down
my rubberized clod-hopper boots
I ran up the drive
an ice-ball slammed into my face
like a punch
“THERE!” Big Louie screamed;
I ran up the frozen porch steps
and barged into the kitchen
where my Uncle,
home from work at the gas station,
stood before the stove
“Big Louie hit me!” I shouted
then ducked
in case my Uncle tried to slap me
for interrupting his Saturday afternoon;
“get in the car” he barked
he came out of the house wearing his black Navy pea-coat
and looking like a mitten with a head,
we floated down the white street
snow banks to the push-button windows
of the big Buick Electra
to the skating rink
where Big Louie
his pals
stood in a phalanx
arms crossed on chests,
brave in a group–
like wolves–
my Uncle stepped up to them,
a svelte 320 pounds
a saturnine face
his leather hand shot out
and Louie fell down,
got up.
his face
red as a stop sign
he ran
like a deer
long loping strides up and over
the snowbank and
into the tree line…
My Uncle got back in the car,
said “he won’t call me
a ‘fat bastard’ again.”

Wayne F. Burke’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications (including “In Between Hangovers”). His three published poetry collections, all from Bareback Press, are WORDS THAT BURN, DICKHEAD, and KNUCKLE SANDWICHES. His chapbook PADDY WAGON is published by Epic Rites Press. He lives in Vermont.




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