Recently my parents gave me the task of consolidating all my childhood memories into two boxes. It took three hours and a few tears but in the process I unlocked years of writing I had completely forgotten about. So, starting today, I’m going to give them their proper due in the spotlight after decades of neglect. The first is a poem I wrote about my grandfather… ‘Loving you’.
I sit at the dinner table / and I watch you slowly coming apart
I wanna reach out to you / but it’s just too sad / and I’m too afraid
Death has not shown his face anywhere near my door / And as the years go by I know his visit is getting ever closer
I’m trying to decide if I should be part of the fall / or just sit on the side wishing I never knew you
These past few days I’ve been thinking about what I would say at your funeral / if I’d even have the strength to say anything at all
“He was a good man, loved his family” / “Lived vicariously and enjoyed every moment given him”
Or should I tell the truth? / how you sat in your big chair lonely and wistful
And how I constantly turned my back on you when you reached out to me?
How with just one look you made life almost too much to bear / shattering my heart into a thousand pieces and leaving me to stumble along the ground
Then when it was my turn to look at your face in the coffin, could I even glance at you without feeling some ounce of regret?
I’m your beautiful granddaughter and while you have given me so much, I have given you so little
I never tried to understand you / only questioned you when you wouldn’t say a word
I ignored the memories of a homeland that you clinged to and abhorred the language you spoke
How could you ever forgive me? / How could things ever change?
I’m sitting here thinking about you and it makes so sad that I might die
of loving you