The Catch

Tommy is a troubled lad.
He cries at night and mopes around all day.
His sister Trudy tries to help with games,
But Tommy just won’t play.

His mom and dad are at wit’s end.
They’ll do anything, they say,
To calm poor Tommy’s troubled soul
And wash his tears away.

Mom and Dad went to their church
And asked Father Smith to pray.
“Please ask God to help our son,”
They plead, faces filled with deep dismay.

And then one day, an angel came
Who said, “I think I have a way.
But there is a catch, you know.
There’s a price you’ll have to pay.”

Tommy’s dad frowned and tugged his hair.
A price! He just couldn’t say okay.
Mom, however, jumped right in
And said “We’ll pay whatever you say.”

One night soon after, The Reaper came
And took poor Tommy’s woes away.
When the children awoke the next morn,
Mom and dad were ashen gray.

“Tommy, lad, and Trudy, dear,”
They heard their mother say,
“Father Smith passed on last night.
Let’s all hold hands and pray.”

Tommy’s folks are filled with grief.
Father Smith was laid to rest today.
Tommy smiled and said a silent prayer
As he dropped a rose on Father’s grave.

This is my entry for 10DOM and One Shot Wednesday


  1. oh, what is the Father do...great twist patti...i hope tommy lives on as a survivor...

  2. Unfortunately, there is the ring of truth underlying that wistful little ditty. But I like it.

  3. Too late for the Father, Brian. He should have known better. What goes around-eth, comes around-eth.

  4. Lou: Glad you like it. There is indeed truth here. I'm still seriously ticked off at them. Every time I read of a new case, I'm enraged all over again, and I'm off and running with a new post.

  5. love it Patti, what we are asked to sacrifice is great in many things throughout life, our acceptance is another thing...blessings..bkm

  6. Excellent poem...hmm, I'm not quite sure which direction you were going with this, as it could be interpreted in a couple different directions. Excellent!

  7. bkm: It speaks to something I will never accept. I'm glad you like it.

    Cowboy: Ah, and therein lies the mystery. Divine intervention? Or human retribution? I'm not telling.

  8. Ah if all retribution were that simiple. Sad and all too true but after the damage has been done.

  9. Poetry that flows like a smooth story—always like that style. Like the protective spirit of the mother here, willing to pay the price... also like how you leave the work open for interpretation regarding the retribution. Thanks, Patti :)

  10. this can really be interpreted in different ways...even with what is going on in the catholic church at the moment (in germany) with the discovery that some pastors were abusing children - but maybe this interpretation would go too far...? good work Patti

  11. So sad. I wish this was just fiction, but unfortunately there are many "Tommys" out there. At least he found peace in the end.

  12. Interesting theology here - retribution but not prevention! Powerful theme and reflective of the current difficulties of the Catholic church. As you know, I have posted two poems this week. On not saying hello is new but Kingpin Baby was posted up on a quiet Sunday so I thought I’d give it another outing. Both are adaption of different formal poetry forms – pantoum and sonnet.

  13. Jingle: Thank you for your support.

    Baino: You are so right. Even when it's over, it's never over.

    Dustus: Thank you for your kind words, and for hosting One Shot this week.

    Claudia: Oh, no, that wouldn't be going too far.

    CM: I agree, it is very sad. He found safety in the end, but I bet peace eludes him. Thanks for visiting.

  14. This read so well and is excellent in what is not said.

  15. Hi Patti..that was great..took me by surprise but i liked its direction..many thanks Pete

  16. whoa! a catch indeed! and a surprise ending. nasty stuff, that!

  17. And the ending splashed ..! very well written Patti!! :)

  18. nice one Patti. I'm intrigued about what Father Smith did to deserve what he got. I have a theory though... hmmm

  19. I believe Tommy will make the Father proud.
    that was lovely dear Patti

    Thanks for shooting it at the One Shot hoop

    moon smiles

  20. Oh my, I didn't expect where this was going. Especially the rose.

  21. Wow! Too bad reality can't always have such a just ending. A wonderful poem.

  22. You have a very light touch and that creates the satire here for a very dark subject. For those of us who grew up Catholic, the stories now being revealed only exacerbate the physical abuse we all grew up with, then joked about later. But it wasn't really funny. This poem is excellent. Bully for you! I hope it's read widely.

  23. Gosh what a piece didn't expect the Father to be in the grave! I think the build up was superb

    "Mom, however, jumped right in
    And said “We’ll pay whatever you say.”

    One night soon after, The Reaper came
    And took poor Tommy’s woes away."

    You just knew it wouldn't be as simple as that I just did not expect that outcome at all.
    Really enjoyed reading this thanks

  24. Patti...
    Fantastic poem/story...You Rocked this one!!

  25. Anthony: Thank you. Restraint is usually not one of my strengths.

    Pete & Tom: Glad I could surprise you!

    Desert Rose: Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Neva: Thanks. I’m glad you came by.

    divisoria: I suspect your theory is correct, especially if you read the newspapers in just about any country these days. It’s a sad commentary.

    Leslie: Oh, I hope not. I know the docs say such behavior begets like behavior in the next generation, but I’m hoping Tommy can overcome.

    Emily: Thank you!

    Teresa: Thank you. I wish it did too.

    Beachanny: I come from the same place. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty angry about it all. Thank you for coming by and for your supportive comments.

    Gwei Mui: Glad you liked it. Thank you.

    Galen: Thank you, my friend.

  26. Oh, damn (pun intended)!

    Narration by omission. This rocks, Patti.

  27. Oh damn Patti no secrets i agree with Urban Cowboy but really loved the smashing ending, wonderful poem~

  28. Kind of caught me off guard with that ending. The cadence is so up and happy that the harsh ending really slaps you back to earth

  29. Wow, this had a serious and unexpected twist and then the the knowledge at the end...the contrast between subject matter and style of poem makes it even more poignant.

  30. A very powerful poem. The ending just took my breath away.

  31. Wow, Patti, you tackled a tough subject, with eloquence and grace. Nicely done. a great one shot.



  32. That was amazing. A political statement in poetic prose. Love it.

  33. Very impressive writing, twisting, sad too.... seems to also depict a trade off of lives... in any case this is wonderful writing :) ~ April

  34. Powerful. Such an unexpected twist at the end. Thank you for sharing.

  35. This was a fantastic read, Patti... very intriguing..
    The rhymes and wordplay were a treat too!!!

    Hmm.. I hope the "sacrifice" was worth it... I wonder what Father Smith had done to deserve this... maybe he did do something not too good after all... I hope Tommy has turned into a smiling good lad now..
    A lovely poem!

  36. Oh my, I did not know at first where this was going, intriguing and very powerful my friend x

  37. Ashen faces.
    They did not know.
    so many claimed not to know
    an ugly subject caught and shown well

  38. Oooo-- sure it's not Halloween? A great creepy verse w/ a twist-- nicely written1

  39. Too bad Father Smith's mama didn't throw him out with the bath water. A raw subject dealt with in a unique way.

  40. "I care not; a man can die but once;
    we owe God a death." Bill S.
    Too bad that. Some deserve to die a thousand times over, but it is nice to see one so deserving have his marker called in early. I like it.

  41. Jeff: Oh, thank you. High praise indeed, given the source.

    Wild Rose: And I'll say the same thing I told our friend the Cowboy: Nope, sorry. I've discovered that the interpretations are almost as varied as our community of writers here. I'm pretty happy about that. Thanks for your visit.

    Stephen & Talon: I'm glad the light style with the heavy ending worked. I wasn't so sure it would. I'm happy you liked it.

    Linda & Joany: Thank you! I'm glad you came.

    MM: Thanks. You know by now that every now and then, my rabble-rousing activist takes over.

    Betweenhearts & Jenna: Thank you for such nice comments.

    kavisionz: As I said to Urban Cowboy above: divine intervention? or human retribution? Either way, he had it coming.

    Buttercup: Thank you! I'm so happy you found it intriguing.

    kkrige & mairmusic: Thank you for reading and for your kind comments. I appreciate it.

    Teresa O: Thank you. I'm sure Tommy would agree!

    mxwll: Thanks, James. You and Bill speak truth. Needless to say, I agree.

  42. Wow this is a great story, I believe I read it before but do not think I commented...it is great for this time of year...what we are willing to really give....thank you for linking again...Have a Blessed Season...bkm

  43. Makes the point most creatively.


Thoughts? I would love to hear from you.