Del Santee’s Irish Uncle

Del Santee’s Irish Uncle
on his mother’s side
was a hit man for the IRA
during the Easter rebellion & beyond
& had to leave for the states
around 1930, give or take
a couple of years,
his specialty having been informers,
& he’d whacked enough of
his traitorous countrymen that by
the time of his departure of
Irish soil it was quite
dangerous for his own
self to walk Dublin’s city
streets in the daytime,
he had followed each assigned
Judas for weeks
until they would eventually
go to confession & then he’d
shoot them on the front steps of the church,
or, very close to the front steps,
having given them a grand
chance at clearing their soul of misdeed
Del and his cousin, fifty years after all of this
took the old man to an Oakland A’s
baseball game, as the former revolutionary
had grown fond of the American game,
& in the bottom of the ninth inning
of a close contest, the elder of the three,
excused himself from his younger charges
& quietly worked his way
into some rows of seats above them & tried
to kill a man, roughly his own age, with an umbrella.
Del said the old man claimed afterward that
“Sure, it was a traitor,”
missed because he’d never gone to confession.
Del said, the old man went to confess
his own sins every day of his life
since he’d left Ireland.

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