He laughed with his eyes
He having neither lower lip
Nor tongue nor cheek.
From an open throat
Drool dangled as saliva siroped
Onto the kitchen table
Where we sat.
A sign on the front door had said,
‘Caution, he who enters here
Must expect a gruesome apparition’
I had come for a chat
With ball point pen and paper
He had no vocal chords.
We would talk by notes
And later
I would bring supplies for art and living.
A brown walnut pipe well seasoned,
Rested polished and unused
A carved artifact of beauty
In a rack
Beside the portrait of Superintendent Quinton.
His right hand ready on holstered gun
His left hand relaxed on pipe
He wrote that he had never killed
With his revolver
He never scribbled about
The carved pipe, a gift from his daughter,
And what it had done
To his lips and tongue.
I emptied my supplies
Painkiller and soft food
Catheter ready
I also delivered leather
Since Maurice used his fingers
To make wallets and purses
For a church charity
He complained neither with arms nor eyes
And we often joked on paper
A hint of sweet aromatic tobacco
Lingered on the upholstery
On saying goodbye I would glance
At the Tuscan briar block of his old pal
The false friend that was his

About the author : Wally du Temple

Books written by Wally du Temple are sold by where author information is available in English.