whaddya hear whaddya say: watching Jimmy Cagney

Leonard Durso

one forgets
how graceful
he was
acting with every part
of his body
that dancer training
coming into play
the quintessential tough guy
chip on his shoulder
the old one two
too smart
for his own good
never totally bad
but always
that Irish heart
glowing
love for the girl
on the right side
of the tracks
and he
always from the wrong
part of the city
that hitching
of his shoulders
just before
he carries on
always dying
in a blaze of gunfire
or the chair
pretending to be
yellow
as a favor
for his childhood pal
Pat O’Brien
the priest
even though
his character
had no need
of redemption
he took
whatever punishment
or justice
that came his way
with the same
tilt of the head
those eyes
defiant
the hint
of a smile
on his lips

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