Tony Gloeggler

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I watched
The 11 o’clock news
All the way through
On a school night
To watch James Greene
Roll down the screen
With this week’s dead

Who lifted me
On his shoulders
And held me there
While I fastened
The net’s white loops
Tightly on his new
Backyard hoop

First published in Rhino


When Phil Rizzutto would shout, “Holy cow, did you see that,”
as Dave Winfield made a diving catch, you would raise
your eyes and say, “DiMaggio would have been standing there
waiting for the damn ball.” Whenever Butch Johnson scored
a touchdown, he knocked his knees together, shot the defender
with imaginary six guns and blew smoke off his fingers.  
You’d change the channel by remote control, talk about Jim Brown
crossing the goal line with a trace of smile on his lips. 

When we went to Uncle Dom’s funeral last Wednesday,
you nodded hello to relatives and kept away from the open coffin. 
When we left the chapel, I didn’t try to stop crying. 
You started the car, clicked on the all news station
and drove with both hands on the wheel.  All the way home,
I watched the bones of your knuckles stretch the skin thin. 

First published in New York Quarterly

Tony Gloeggler is a native of NYC and manages group homes for the developmentally disabled in Brooklyn. His books include two full length collections One Wish Left (Pavement Saw Press, 2000) which went into a second edition and The Last Lie (NYQ Books 2010). Until the Last Light Leaves was published in 2016 by NYQ Books.