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
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.