Ciao ‘Wop’ Ciao ‘Pow’

For a while
Sicilian father confined in the sticks as a POW
Camp 6
Glenbranter Argyll

After the war when the others went home
He stayed
He’d met Pearl
(local girl)
He made her his wife
They made a new life

Antonio Paolo De Luca

Nicknames clung to the lad
(as they had to his dad)

First day at school they called him ‘The Wop’
(not for long)
The jeering came to a violent stop
Tony took on three older boys
(no-one annoys Tony D)

He left them wet with their blood and their tears
Who’s laughing now?

Old order subverted
The crowd was converted
Loud cheers

Name inverted to ‘Pow!’

Rite of passage
The message was clear

Stood up for the weak
Accepted their gifts as his due
Reputation naturally grew

During break when his classmates laid bets
Made sure the debts were all paid
(for a fee)
Implied threats so no-one ‘forgets’

His stock-in-trade

The credit he gave to those without cash wasn’t free
Had to bash a few heads
Gash a few cheeks
But within weeks there were no more defaults

(on the whole)
Came to an end

Just now and then
To send a reminder of who calls the shots
Just dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s

Not academic
(mostly got ‘E’s)
Left school as soon as he could
As things stood
The best thing all round

Hit the ground running
Quick on his feet
The street was his playground
Out and about on his beat

Out and about on patrol
Out and about
And out of control

Thought his future assured

But his stunning success could not be ignored
He was stepping on toes
(organised crime)

Told it was time to choose
No way to refuse

Calm down
Enter the Firm and follow its rules
(as in a Western)
Get out of town
The countdown would start straight away
He’d have to be gone
Not in a week
But by the end of that day

In true cowboy fashion he drifted down south
Found this bar at the estuary mouth
He’s not a sun-lover
(that’s not his passion)
But he finds it’s useful as cover…

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