from Vol. 18, No. 2 (Spring 1995)

Fatal April
Thomas Leon Ellis, Sr. (1945-1991)

Thomas Sayers Ellis



The phone rang. It was Doris,
Your sister, calling to say
April had taken you, where,
In your bedroom, when, days ago,
How, murder, no, a stroke.

You left a car (but I
Don't drive) and enough cash
In your pockets to buy
A one-way train ticket
From Boston to Washington.

Let's get one thing straight.
I didn't take the money, but
I did take your Driver's License
And the Chuck Brown album,
Needle to groove,

Round and round,
Where they found you.
Both were metaphors.
The license I promised, but knew
I'd never get--now I have yours

And the album because
Of what you may have been
Trying to say about writing,
About home. James keeps
Asking me to visit your grave,

When will I learn to drive
And why I changed my name.
He's your son, stubborn with
An inherited temper. I keep telling him
No, never, there's more than

One way to bury a man.


Home | Current Issue | Faces
Back |Next