“For John Dolan” by Michael Casey

For John Dolan

By Michael Casey

I talked to friend Dorothy Morganti
In the office why
I was out for a couple days
it was to clear out the apartment
of my cousin John Dolan
who’d died at the Lowell General
he lived in the senior citizens place
across the street for the Immaculate
John had lived very frugal
and had a twelve inch
black and white TV
on top of a bar stool in his sitting room
this thirty years after the entire world
had color TV’s
Father Sannella at the funeral service
gave me an option of readings
and told me on the altar to lighten up
I mention to Dorothy all this stuff
and that it was the strangest thing to me
that there was a check
made out to the Immaculate
on John’s kitchen table
for exactly thirty-two dollars
and twenty cents
clear as day to Dotty, a Mormon convert
he was tithing, Mike
you know what that is? she adds
she is teasing me
we had discussed this matter before
yes, I know, Dotty
and it’s before taxes, right?

Lowell-native Michael Casey’s newest book of poetry, There it Is: New and Selected Poems, is available from Loom Press.