Grandpa

You have my summers,

My pre-school years,

And all the baby moments

Still trapped behind ears.

Broad fingers giving illusions

That your hands are big,

Fit for holding

A baby.

You say I was one

Once.

An angel.

Hands to hold an angel.

But I came in to hug you

Now, then, not long at all,

And they were small.

Musician’s hands.

What’s with those terrible sores?

You hold the home

With the terrible carpet

Because everyone comes,

Everyone crowds

The kitchens, the lawns

The entertainment set,

And so many happy shoes

Leave stains.

I like what you’ve done

With the place.

That new carpet actually looks safe.

Though I had no problem

With the carpet before

Since I knew why.

But this is nice.

This is better.

I could help you next time

You know.

Maple bars.

Muffins, diet coke,

Just when did you get

Into Rockstars?

They’re gross.

Didn’t think you’d be so

Hardcore

In your caffeinated drinking habits.

But hey, I’ll come,

To that ragged door

With mismatched glass,

Because it’s you

I’m here for.

The you coming down

Or up the stairs,

One stormy eyebrow raised

And your toothy smile.

I know I can stop by

Any time,

And I will.

I’d love to stay.

But when did your hair

Turn white?

And I know the secret

To your yummy spaghetti

Is Ragu.

How did you shrink?

You were always so big.

Now I’m the same height.

That’s weird.

Because I’m certain

I have yet

To grow up.

Otherwise,

I wouldn’t need you anymore.

But no,

I’m still ten,

With insomnia and nightmares

And messing with your neighbors

Pouring willow tree.

I’m still twelve

And high on summer night grass

And midnight runs

For ice cream.

I’m still fourteen

And awkward as heck,

Though I’d like to think

I’m too old for the horse bite

You crunch on my knee.

I’m still sixteen

With major boy issues.

You can tease me

And give all the bad reviews you want.

I know you better than them

Anyways.

No.

I will not go see you

Lying there.

Because I’m still too young.

You’re immortal

Until I’m not.

That’s how the world works.

White hair and sore hands

A slower pace down the stairs

That didn’t mean anything.

I saw nothing

But you,

As you always were and are

Turning burgers on a grill

Outside a cracked window

And musing on mountain

Philosophies.

No.

That isn’t you.

Whatever it is.

Because I know

If I go up right now

To that mountainous place

To the old, ragged house,

You’re working on so much,

That you’ll come when I call,

Laugh at my dry delight

And allow me a hug

And a soda.

I’m only 18

And out on my own.

I can’t screw up now

I’m so afraid I’ll screw it up,

But you say

You are proud,

That I got through when you thought

I’d for sure come out

Scathed.

I’m still 19

With my wisdom teeth out.

What do you thinks

So funny?

I just saw you

Stayed with you

A blink of time ago

And nothing was failing.

You stood straight,

You clamped bear claws

On little boys’ legs

And folded towels

With the help of your teeth

Watching sports or real crime

Like you always do.

No.

I’m not grown up.

The rule cannot

Be broken.

You’re still here.

I’ll walk inside, I will.

That house which stores

So many summers and years.

I’ll see you. I’ll see you.

The only dirt is

On the floor.

You’ll be clean,

Like you always are.

Old spice

And Irish Spring soap.

No,

I will not draw near.

It’s dumb to make caskets

Look so comfy.

I’ll be there, just wait.

Let me take the journey

And walk on through

The door you never lock.

You’ll be there,

As you always are,

Because I have yet to

Not need you.

Because I’m still young!

And you’re not old!

We have mountains with jeeps

And waterfalls.

We just ate some burritos

You just saved my life

And told me my baby

Was the right choice.

No.

I will not see.

Because I know

You aren’t lying there.

You’re flipping grilled cheese

With mayonnaise.

You’re making me fires

To keep me warm,

And I’m still sleeping

On your floor.

And I still will be

When you come home,

Because you’re immortal, grandpa,

You’re immortal,

Because I’m not old enough

To not need you.

One thought on “Grandpa

  1. I’m crying.. no, not slightly tearful, but wailing like a child. You pulled my heart out and shredded it, a thousand chills went through my body reading your words. I wanted to scroll and I wanted to stop. You are a wonderful writer. Thank you for being!

    Like

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