All Gone

Mary Nork




Manny the Shark died last Wednesday.  Not-so-poor old Manny.
Took 20 on 100.  Can’t do better than that.

Nothing in the paper, but news hit Reno streets in minutes:

Did you hear about Manny?  Bought the big one.  Drained a bourbon
on the rocks and down he went.   Rushed him to St. Mary’s.
Too late.  Bad ticker.

His wife, Myrna, drove up from Stockton. Buried him in a new suit
with a white shirt and cuff links.  Two rounds of free drinks
at the Cal Neva, his hat on the bar where he always sat.

Old Myrna, she emptied the drawers and closets, shoe boxes and cupboards.
Scrubbed his place good.  Piled the chits in a pot on the stove
with her letters. Maybe whispered a few words in the smoke
then floated the ashes from the Virginia Street Bridge.

She kept his old chair, pictures of the kids
when they were little.  Gave the rest to the Salvation Army.
His car went to St. Vincent’s.
Nothing for the lady friends. Nothing for the rest of us.

But Manny’s gone.
All debts are cleared.