He'd slip a rubber band around a glass of rye,
pluck it with one pearly nail
like a song he couldn't get off his mind.
Twice-widowed, down from Toronto to cool his heels,
he kept up the tales of nylons
stuffed hastily into coat pockets,
an aproned great-aunt settling
her bulk onto the front porch swing
just as Baby Sister vaulted the backyard gate...
Sure, he was no good. And I wasn't
allowed over when he pulled into town.
But I memorized the stories, imagining
Canada full of men who'd use
a knife to defend their right to say:
Man, she was butter
just waiting to melt.