Poem a Day 2013 #6: Made Man


Poem number 6. Another one retrieved from the “drafts in progress” folder. This was fairly well progressed, so didn’t need a lot of work to finish it off. I loved “The Sopranos” and “The Godfather”. Tony Soprano must be one of the great screen characters of all time. A “made man” is a a fully initiated member of the Mafia. There are different versions of the initiation ceremony, but here’s one from Wikipedia:

When the crime family “opens the books” (accepts new members), an associate will get a call telling him to get ready and dressed. He will then be picked up and taken to a room (or secluded place such as a forest), where the ceremony will take place, alone or with other accepted candidates. An inductee will be required to take the oath of Omertà, the mafia code of silence. Though the ceremony varies from family to family, it usually involves the pricking of the trigger finger of the inductee, then dripping blood onto a picture of a Saint, typically St. Francis of Assisi or the Virgin Mary, which is then set alight in his hand and kept burning until the inductee has sworn the oath of loyalty to his new “family,” e.g., “As this card burns, may my soul burn in Hell if I betray the oath of Omertà,” or “As burns this saint, so will burn my soul. I enter alive and I will have to get out dead

Made Man

I want to be a “made man”,

a wise guy with wide lapels on my chalk striped suit;

to be kissed on both cheeks by my compares;

to know that I have two families

and neither will betray me.


To swear an oath on my mother’s grave,

enter a forest with gun and blade,

a saint’s image smeared with my blood

and set ablaze to seal my lips

with murder and a word, omerta.


To be a good fella, a feared protector

a stand up guy, a tax collector.

To have a dependable family butcher

a discreet, efficient  waste disposer.


To pay tribute in fat envelopes to my capo.

To blow smoke in the face of the G- man

who offers me a place on The Program.

To cement my friendships and

set my arguments in concrete.


To fulfill my contracts with deadly earnest,

and at the end of a day of doing business

to relax with my crew and my goomah,

knowing that I am a man of honour.

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2013


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