Friday, February 25, 2011


I remember the first time.
It was a crisp Omaha morning, and I was four--
playing in my front yard when three boys came along.

They were BIG kids--maybe eight or nine--
and one of them said: HEY, YA LITTLE SONOFABITCH!
Just casual like...
I asked him what that word meant,
and he said: Go ask yer mama, sonofabitch!

So I did. means NOTHING, she said.
And: Who told you that word?
I led her outside to meet my new friends,
but they had disappeared.

And I couldn't understand why they had gone.

Years later there was a girl named Mary
who lived with me in the Hotel San Cristobal
overlooking the ocean in Old San Juan.
There was a little Italian place nearby
where we would drink wine and she would call me "Ducky."
Then one night we were arguing in bed
and she said:YOU SONOFABITCH
and tore my ring from her finger and threw it against the wall.
Then she disappeared.

And I couldn't understand why she had gone.

Time passed and one day my best old childhood buddy
came to visit me in Tucson. I met him
at the airport and he said: YOU OL' SONOFABITCH!

We caught up on things and downed a few,
then we downed a few more.
Before you knew it the days had flown by
and I was taking him back to the airport
where he did this funny bit, singing: We'll meet again...
don't know where, don't know when...
And then he disappeared.
Two weeks later I got a phone call--
he'd been in a bad car wreck and was lying
in a coma in an Amarillo hospital.
Two days hence he departed this world
without regaining consciousness.

And I didn't understand why he had gone.

But all that was long ago...
and things are gonna be different now!
So I've made me a new rule.

If you're gonna call me a sonofabitch...
you've got to promise not to leave.


  1. Timoteo, you sonofabitch, this is brilliant!

    (And I'm not going anywhere, mi amigo!)

  2. Oh, I can't say that word to you.

    I'll be back, if that's okay.

  3. BUBBA,
    Thanks're the first one to call me that...well, TODAY!!!

    How sweet of you--glad you're gonna stay.

  4. Timoteo, a poignant poem. So many leavings in this old world, hey? As we wait and wait and wait for someone who wont leave. Loved this poem.

  5. sometimes we never really know why people have to go, but they do anyhow. Bummer.

    I bet I'll be back though Tim.

  6. wow and then some, this is touching, and amazing, I love how you sonofagun ;)

  7. Bittersweet or perhaps just sad on so many levels, how many people we encounter in our lifetime that we thought would stay forever, as quickly leave us, we cannot count on anything staying the same. You inject some humor in this which is good, for we cannot take ourselves too seriously. A pragmatic down to earth poem.

    do like ....

  8. SHERRY,
    Everybody leaves eventually--in one way or another--(see previous poem, "Contribution") but it's the THOUGHT that counts...that's why I want you to promise not to!

    I'd bet on you in anything...even a potato sack race!

    Thanks, my sweet of you to soften the ending of that word--wasn't necessary, though LOL.

    Thanks so much...I always look forward to your insightful comments!

  9. But,
    -We'll meet again... don't know where, don't know when... -

    __Ah... 'tis such a 'contrary' phrase, this term of questioned confrontation, the curse of anger... or the warming sound of endearment It can mean NOTHING, it can mean everything; SOB, or sob.
    __And these writes of yours... tell of you.
    Wishes, _m.

  10. Awesome poem that really stops to make one think about the casual way we use language. Loved this.

  11. Wasn't sure where you were going but you took me along. I'll be around, but I don't know for how long. Humorous and deep, and a poem to keep. I really enjoyed it. Thanks.

  12. i like the smile you put on my face and really since it is being used in so many different circumstances, its better not to take heed of what it means.. anyway, here's my potluck timoteo..
    cso i have on the other one before haha!

  13. A beautiful illustration of friendship...

  14. LOL, nice ending, and telling of the tale!

  15. one by one, they are gone like wind when they decided to give your a label...

    friendship ends
    when it is time...

    Glad that you are here and have the willingness to
    share and spare part of your childhood with us.

    read the whole story, looking forward to your presence...we will always be here when you show up with some witty humors..



  16. The same word.. used in so many ways.. wheww!! The result being the same though...disappearance... I wonder why!! hmmmm....

    This was simply fantastic, Tim!! And I almost hear a threat in this one... teeheehee..
    Loved loved LOVED this piece...maaaannnn... you have some terrific way with words! :))

  17. Thanks to: DOUG, (thanks for the I owe you anything? Then again, I didn't lie down on your couch!)TERESA, DAN, FIVELOAF, SAM, JESSICA, JINGLE, AND KAVITA (The more I think about why they left--could be that my deodorant wasn't working!)

  18. lol you are brilliant with the subjects you write about, :) I promise not to leave.

  19. dude this is a brilliant write...and heartfelt...nice way to turn that phrase...

  20. Down here it has fewer syllables (basically summbitch is the southern pronunciation) but it means the same.Derisive, accusatory, or comrade-in-arms banter...this is a very well written and serious dose of common every day wisdom, and a fine poem, besides. Not something just any son of a bitch could write, my friend.

  21. RIVER,
    It warms the cockles of my heart to hear you say ,

    I like the "sumbitch" pronunciation too. Seems that's used more often by people who are drunk. :)
    Thanks for coming by (You don't really look that old, Ollie!)

  22. Great rule you've made man!
    Great one as always Timoteo!

  23. given the outcome, i think i myself would just prefer to avoid the word altogether...but you can't really control what others say or what they do. nice poem.

  24. I think that's a good rule. And a good poem!

  25. i love the vulnerability in this one timoteo..

  26. You are quite the poet. This is genuine, poignant, vulnerable, and bittersweet. I had to read it a few times for the pleasure ... yours seem to inspire this. Rarely done elsewhere. Well done and thank you.

  27. DULCE, RPM WRITINGS, MRS.MEDIOCRITY, (you're too modest!) CLAUDIA, JAMI...thanks for being there!

  28. I liked how this wandered, all coming back to depending on how a word is said, it can be endearment or estrangment...