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Our Part in the War on Poverty

That’s different than a war for poverty or a war on the impoverished, right? I think. I hope it is. Cause I don’t support those. We do what we can, in our own way, which up to this point has entailed sponsoring Tom, who worked outside the Korean deli on the corner of Court and Degraw, who sometimes had crazy eyes and once was carted away by the cops but mostly stood in the rain and wind, sleet and heat and moonlight and asked for your change and maybe would help you with your groceries. He had a habit of saying, in response to your inquiring after his well-being, “I’m doing okay for a __day.” He always knew what day of the week it was, which is better than I can say for myself. Malcolm would lay often as much as $5 a night on old Tom and once even lent him $50, which he did pay back in good time within the terms of the loan. It was important to him. Tom could stay with his mother and crash with friends I think but was obviously not able to hold a steady job due to his mental health. He was however, in front of Kim’s every night for as long as I lived there, a reassuring presence and a nice enough man. Bless you, Tom Terrific, I hope you are still well. I also am remembering warm encounters with Mr Butch, Allston icon and Margaret the Shakespeare Lady of New Haven. So long poor souls.

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