I wrote the following poem as part of my senior project in college. It was meant to be snapshots of different family members, including Grandpa.
I want to ask if you remember
the visits when I was small:
the soft, damp kisses you gave me,
and my high-pitched voice calling “Hi Boppa!”
while you aimed the video camera.
You eventually turned it to the sky, filming
white wisps and swirls,
murmuring about the temperature and wind.
Clouds used to fascinate you.
Now they are only proof of government
conspiracy -- influencing the atmosphere,
causing sickness. You used to laugh
more easily, you used to barbecue
hamburgers in a wheelbarrow
and play whiffleball with all us grandchildren,
wearing your white cotton undershirt,
cut-off shorts and brown rubber sandals.
When I see you now and you refuse to hug,
almost refuse to shake hands --
“Hollywood’s perversion of touch,” you say --
I want you to remember.
I want to grasp your hands, shaking
as they handle your knife and fork,
and hold them.
© 2003 April K Szuch