Meghan Casey

 

Grandfather

 

He was resolute North,

       tracing a glacial path

             like a trench he dug between himself and the wavering world.

 Even when he travelled, he carried himself on his back:

             a hobbled tortoise with a mind for birdsong.

 

I was a child then and so he was a monument to me,

          a totem pole or a thunderstruck oak.

 

        I glimpse moments with him

                        in white petals stark

                        against the rough bark of a fallen log –

 

 his rocking chair creaking under the blare of “Hockey Night in Canada,”

 

a mallard duck he made me out of wood and paint

                        with rubber feet that spun, slapping the ground,

      

 a rosebush toothed with thorns,

                         bloodied with flowers.

 

  I cried on the wrinkled sheets of his hospital bed

             because I was ashamed of the tears seething my skin into blisters.

 I don’t recall

 the throb and hiss of the machine that breathed for him;

 only the tubes in his tomahawk nose,

             the yellow parchment of his hands

             sawdust swept under the corners of doors

                             and dwelling in the lines around his eyes.

 

               He was inscrutable even in his brashness;

                      plotting trajectories to the sky,

                                  he could not comfort us.

 

                       My mother came in

                            walking as though she were underwater.

                                    She led me out to the hallway

                                     where the nurses pushed empty gurneys

                                                                and politely

                                                                            disregarded me

 

                                as I pressed my bowed back into the plastic chair

                                and sobbed

                                because I was already losing ways of remembering him.

 

 

 

 

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Casey


this month' Stats

SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #42

The International Journal of Poetry & Graphics...since 2002

MAY 2006  ISSN 1479-425X    Editor: Amatoritsero Ede

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