paddy sings the blues

Posted on June 22, 2009

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paddy is my uncle. he’s lying on his deathbed wearing his favourite pink nappy.

the cancer will get me, he said, but he can’t kill me.
but, paddy, i said, if he gets you then you’ll die.

i thought you were a writer, son, he said. so what? i said.
so think beyond the grave, son. think mighty & you’ll see what i mean.

he began to sing in his lovely baritone deep and old as an oak barrel:

i knew a maiden in maine
and she came she came
so many times in my arms
and my stick stayed hard

then aunt polly came in with a bowl of potatoe puree. singing again, she said.
yope, paddy said and sang the second verse that we all know – he’s been singing it since i was a boy:

but she had a man
my maiden in maine
his name was harold
an accountant he was

he stopped, looked at the puree on his bedside table & at aunt polly, and his eyes got narrow. i don’t want that mush, he said.

you got no teeth, paddy, and the doctor said…
the doctor said i’ll be dead in three days & do you see me? do you see me? he cried.

i see you paddy, loud and clear, she said & sighed. good old polly from poughkeepsie.
you never sing the end of that song, i said. i’m curious what happened to harold, and to the maiden.

it’s the blues, son, the blues. the accountant don’t get the blues, he said, winking.
i don’t understand, uncle paddy.

i’m the maiden, polly said & smiled slyly.
really? you never told me, i said. i mean, was there a harold?

there sure was, paddy said & chuckled. he didn’t get the blues but he was well endowed, yes he was. paddy was laughing fat tears now.

auntie polly blushed. uncle paddy smiled. he took a spoonful of puree & said You’re a great cook, polly.
and you’re a great hubby, she said and gave him a kerygmatic kiss right on the lips, right in front of me.

i left wondering & blue in the face.

© 2009 finnegan flawnt

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