Rattling the Cage
(Rollie Triptych, Part III)

Rollie Matt 001
Perfect timing for
a horrible outcome
On impulse, we drove
to Binghamton for a visit

Stayed with my folks
Call at 5 am, Mom
jostled me awake
“Rollie’s in the E.R!”

He’d sat up in bed
Said, “I can’t breathe”
and all 300 pounds of him
flopped back, dead
Rollie Casey Teddy Bears 001
Hospital. “He’s gone, Amer.”
But his son turned 1 last week
Older son only 4
I was so pissed at God

Funeral, Baptist Church
His folks’ choice, wife’s
voice unheard, unheeded
Pastor, on a roll, droned on

“Rollie’s above with Jesus”
(when his true loves were his wife,
a beer, a bong, and a beer bong)
“Blah blah blah Jesus blah blah”

Mid-sermon, a THUD
A big one, stopped preacher
about the Pearly Gates

Sis whispered, “What was that?”
Couldn’t help my reply
“Rollie turning in his casket”
We cracked up, but good

Shoulders shaking and
folks behind us thought
we were sobbing, patted
support on our shoulders

Which made us laugh harder
Yowza, leave it to Rollie
prankster, stoner, merry-maker
To poke us with one last joke

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

The final chapter of The Book Of Roland Newton. Rollie died at 36 of an embolism.  Pictured above with older son Matt, around age 2, and younger son Casey on his first birthday, surrounded by the teddy bears that always remind me of their dad.  Matt and Casey are young men now, both charting their different courses.  I wish they knew their dad from more that just stories told – usually funny ones.  Everyone should have a Rollie in their lives.

This is for ABC Wednesday… Y is for Yowza and Young.  Peace, Amy