Ron the Tat


he said, “not a good time for humor”
she said, “what’s the matter?”
he said, nothing
she said, “I’ll tickle you till you scream “Aunt Jamima”
he said, “aintch moma””
she said, “no, but I’m old enough to be your grandmoma”

being Italian, he sent word down to that little town
to threaten the old hag if she didn’t “shut da f___ up”
the only Italian around, an ex-relative
whom she had heard once use “mafia” threat
(as if something every Italian male would do)

he said, “Don’t say another word to Ron,
cause if you do, if I don’t hurt you, he will hurt me.”
she shed tears
he said, “All you have to do is shut up.”
she said, “I’m crying for your lost soul.”

grandmama (to be perfectly clear,
a great grandmama) knew
a demon, once set lose
does not do “pin pricks”
being of the age
where death is the expected next
the mote would be expended
to a loved one
most likely a child
ergo she tied her tongue

even a clown
knows when to fold
when nothing’s to be learned
by Act III.