leftover grief

no weaponry could help protect me

from this suffering

from this red, puffy eyed sadness

that shakes my body into cracked stone.

I imagine you the way you always were

smile stretched over the canvas of face,

the laugh filling the air of a long July. 

the visits with

cousins and card games and swimming and 

the waterslide 

we sat beside each other 

calm and quiet, forgiving

 the world of its flaws and demeaning figures.

we sat in between comfortable 

silences. We called you the story teller

always taking the right routes 

to reach the end 

always knowing how to make a room listen. 

you watched and i showed you

how i could cannon ball into the deep end,

splashing water onto your cheeks

you laughed so hard 

your belly shook like a volcanic eruption. 

realizing and knowing 

i sit here 

i lay here like a rotting body 

caught in remembering and forgetting

in happiness and sadness. 

in the longing where i search the medicine

cabinet for an antidote, medicine, 

there is no cure for loss but time,

time has moved on without me

it has left me stranded in places

 that seem like home but never were.

 there is no place to store the pain

 other than in my chest.  

you showed up no matter what came your way

no wheelchair could ever 

disable your limbs to keep you from flying. 

you showed up

only one lung and a tumour in between your heart 

still smiling that grandpa smile, with bubble gum cheeks

even on your hospital bed. 

Author’s Note: This poem is dedicated to my grandfather, who was gentle and kind and loved with all he could. I miss you every day. Rest in peace. 


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