Sunday, January 25, 2009

Now I know why it is beautiful (A poem to my Grandpa Rex)

The oxygen was forced through his mouth
and out his ears. For the last few weeks
all he heard was the steady rush
of air.

He was bald in the way a comb-over
couldn’t cover. He informed me that
osteoporosis wasn’t just a “gal’s disease”
His back bent over, even in bed.

He was best defined at the World Fair:
giant, green, with huge teeth.
Or as a dog; the navy approves
of those same values of loyalty.
To state it that way makes it sound like obedience.
But we were all always very good
at following orders.

When I was five he was
approximately ten feet tall.
I thought it was silly
that he was named after a lizard.
He built me a sandy beach on our island
with a little green bench that I abandoned
at the approach of a wild Michigan centipede.

There is a swing that I can no longer fit
my legs through. And a long metal pole
that original I was meant to flip around on
but all I could do is dangle.

They are the only people that make an outhouse look nice.
Pictures framed on the wall.

My father said:
I guess I was never very close to my father.
The black sheep of the family,
it’s middle child syndrome.

He called me three days later,
what filled that space?
It is hard to part with the distance.
I have let go of nothing solid.

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