Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief

1954?

Aunt Helen and Uncle Walt’s house. They were childless…we were their children.

Run, run, run…slam! Into the wall.

Run, run,run ..slam! Into the fridge.

‘Come on up, Will’, Aunt Helen patting her lap. (She always called me Will)

Breathless, I complied.

She wraps her arms around me, looks at me…then softly,

‘Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief’

I play with her necklace, smell her perfume.

‘Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef’

Had I heard it before? Lots of times.

Each time as though brand new. Unexplainably mesmerizing.

‘I went to Taffy’s house and Taffy wasn’t home’

Heart now beating normally.

‘Taffy went to my house and stole a marrow bone’

1995

Run, run, run…slam! Into the wall.

Run, run, run…slide! Into the coffee table.

Look up from my newspaper. The dog is begging, with his eyes..’Make him stop!’

‘Hey, Mike! Come here.’ Pat my lap.

Mike jumps up. Heavy breathing. Tiny sweat beads on his nose. Shagamuffin hair.

Throw my arms around him.

Softly…

‘Taffy was a Welshman’…

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