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Tom & Jerry & me & you

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I wish you had known your great-grandfather,

my granddad, stubbed out by thirty years

of smoking and lying about it.

Anyway, he loved Tom & Jerry.

I remember his cigarette wheeze;

how he’d laugh at the pair and fold in two

whenever Tom got smashed in the face.

He fought in a war (Granddad, not Tom).

Actually, Tom did fight a war:

your great-grandfather’s name was Thomas –

‘TOM!’, as your great-grandmother reduced him.

Jerry did terrible things to Tom.

There are war stories of him, punching

through doors to escape the memories

of men he served with, men he saw killed.

Yet the Tom I knew was a pussycat.

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