The Grandfather You'll Never Know

Written by: Patrice Lauren

I remember how I cried
The day my father died.
The doctor laid the blame
When he said that cancer came:
Lymph nodes, lungs,
Philosophy of Carl Jung,
Words of explanation
For everything, no blame,
Too late for shame.

The final service was long.
I tried to be strong.
But the stench of red carnations
Can still fill my imagination,
People’s faces,
Words of the Lord’s graces.
Planted in a peaceful lawn,
For the shell of this world is gone,
Yoked into heavenly bliss.
But, when I think of him
There's so much we missed.

I remember how I’ve sighed,
Thinking of my dad with pride.
I’d sit on his knee
My ear to his chest,listening to him hum,
And he’d give me his pennies for free.
He would mow, I’d sweep,
Then we’d have a snow cone treat.
Poles, bait bucket, tackle box,
Days we spent fishing from piers and docks.

Hair black like Elvis’,
Ears and features like Clark Gable’s,
Loud animated stories
Of his oil company job,
At the dinner table.
Fedora, big pleated trousers,
A pocket watch on a chain,
When I close my eyes
I can see him again.

I look in the mirror and can see his eyes,
Staring back at me in an eternal guise.
He didn’t live on to see me grown, 
Missed out conversation on the problems I’ve known.
But his gifts of life,
And his gifts of earthly love
Still ground me on earth,
Angelically guarding and guiding
Like the finest made glove
Existing throughout our human family's
Journey of love.