Tag Archives: grandfather

I think he’d even ask for you

my sweet, small son with

so much light in his eyes

is busy wrapping small fingers

around everything he shouldn’t

 

and you are not here to call out that

bellowing “yo”, shake your head and

belly laugh, sip a glass of chianti

I’d  snuck next to your plate.

 

I bet he’d stay on your lap just

a bit longer than anyone else’s.

 

I bet you’d have some way of

taming this small beast that

would leave us all wondering, how.

 

I think he’d even ask for you

when his tongue starts forming words.

 

I still think he’ll know to,

somehow, even with you gone –

grandpa, great grandpa, I love you. 

 

 

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One Year

Three hundred and sixty-five days

Of life and death, my body swelling

Then returning – partially – to its original state.

All the while my insides are in a state of panic.

 

I bury my face in the crook of my son’s neck and

Somewhere in that small space I smell you.

He runs a fat finger across your photograph and you whisper to us.

 

I tell him all about you, this mythical creature, his great-grandfather.

He stares at the slow unhinging and hinging of my jaw, a mystery itself.

 

He smiles and I think the creases at the corners of his mouth could be yours.

You would laugh at his curiosity; you’d lift him even if you felt too sick.

 

If I could say it, say I believe in somewhere other than here,

I’d say you’re still sitting at the dinner table, watching the

incoordination of his small hands.

 

**

A huge thank you to those who continue to check in and follow my blog! I am still trying to balance my two loves: writing and my sweet baby boy. Of course, baby boy wins most of the time. 🙂 I am also hoping to begin work on a chapbook, focused on the loss of my grandfather (just over one year ago), and the connection I feel he has to my son, who shares his birthday. I will continue to post on here, although my posts may be scarce for a while…and of course to follow along with all of you.

xoxo,

Nicole Marie

 

 

 

 

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Ain’t That a Shame

 

at night I unhinge
my bones in moonlight.

maybe I dance
a little

maybe I remember him

I have ritualized dear grandfather
into my agnostic bedtime prayers.

Grandmother says she’ll
sleep through Christmas,
sleep right into next year
holed up above the awkward
holiday wishes

up where he slept, too.

and how

how has nearly a year
snuck up as quickly as

death did?

I can still smell the
cigar on his breath

the way his chest

rose
and
fell

with that rusted laugh
always the
ain’t that a shame

it is,
grandfather.

It is.

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Faith

“Love set you going like a fat gold watch.”
Morning Song, Sylvia Plath

But it would be weeks until I saw the
Black and white flicker of your real, live
Heart, its muffled whoosh, whoosh, whoosh

While your father stood dumbstruck by
My navel. We held the first, glossy evidence
Of you in our hands. We turned it over like an

Old photograph then plastered it on the fridge.
I giggled each time I reached for the milk, his
Working hands holding me, holding you.

I framed your progress all over the living room,
I showed you off to friends. My grandfather smiled his
Big, proud smile and tried his best to meet you.

I think he held you before I did. I’d barely imagined you
Before you became a beautiful, squawking thing,
A helpless masterpiece. You speak in foreign tongues

I struggle to understand. I dream you’re speaking to him.
At night your moon face makes me believe in something
I never did. I press one hand to your cheek, the other to your father’s.

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And Don’t Forget to Love Unconditionally

my grandfather came to me yesterday
he was hiding in between the beats
of my son’s sweet cries

hello, hello, hello

quit counting breaths
quit weighing the strength of
his grip on your fingers

I am taking care of things.

I was a child once,
he says.

I am a child now, I think.

my son looks up and smiles at nothingness,
his hollow mouth is valley wide

I imagine my grandfather
whispering firm instructions:

be happy
be healthy
go easy on your mother

I kiss the sky and whisper back
hello, hello, hello

I miss you so.

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6:39

it was mourning
in a quiet, orange sunrise

it was a warm mattress
with warm bodies,
central heating

snow dusted front porch,
coffee set to brew its heavy, familiar self,
a thing of happiness, twisted
when paired with death

6:39 and the animals
were asleep, I was asleep,
comfortable actually

funny how even the
paint on the walls
looks different now

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I’m Going to Be a Mommy!

maternityshoot

As you are reading this, my husband and I are hopefully somewhere holding our baby boy. (That’s assuming this kid doesn’t decide to make a late appearance!) Either way, today, the 26th of May, is my official due date. The day our entire world is destined to change in the most beautiful way. But today represents something else as well: it is my sweet, funny, fiercely missed grandfather’s birthday, and we have all been keeping fingers and toes crossed that he’s told my son how cool it would be to share a birthday with his great grandpa.

I’ve scheduled this post ahead of time to let everyone know that while I may be disappearing for a bit, I won’t be gone permanently. I’ll just be taking some time to learn how to care for a very tiny human being and soaking up every precious moment as a new mother. So, thank you so much to those of you who have been following my blog; I am grateful for every single like, comment, and share. I’ll be back soon to read more of your beautiful work, and will likely be bursting at the seams with poems about my son and every small new thing I’ll be in awe of.

Until then, be well, my friends.

xoxo,

Nicole Marie

P.S.

If you’re coming across my page for the first time, thank you for visiting! While I’m away, here are some pieces I hope you might enjoy:

a poet to her son

My Grandfather Who Lingers Still

This is How You Grieve Him

Daydreams

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Daydreams

No May will be the same, perched with
legs barely pretzeled against round earth belly;
I am waiting for your glorious arrival, curtained in sweat
and sighs of relief and tears like spring showers growing life.

But there is something else there too, wondering
if grief and blinding love could link arms for an
evening on the edge of my hospital bed.

I wonder if you’ll arrive on the day he
was born, wrapped in some form of him.
I wonder if I’ll know it (in the shape of your eyes)
in the way your small mouth might curve unknowingly
like it is full of all his stories, like it is screaming I’m near.

Maybe he’ll take every strength he wished
he’d had and place it in your hands and feet,
maybe when I hold you I’ll be holding him too.

At night I rest my head on quiet thoughts
of him here, just as flesh and blood as you
are flesh and blood, just as warm, and in
delicate pockets of time he is asking to be
the one to sing you to sleep.

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My Grandfather Who Lingers Still

grandfather

At breakfast he sits just across

from the coffee cups and pats of butter,

elbows propped on either side of an empty

placemat while I flip through a magazine.

 

And then I am winding down with the

sun that hugs me through our bay window,

while he is swaying hello from the maple tree

with the shade that falls in and out like an eager child.

 

He turns down the bed and tells me

the same story of his childhood while I

brush my teeth and close the curtains,

routinely kiss the photo of him on the nightstand.

 

He touches my face, my grandfather

who lingers still, and I don’t feel it but I can.  

Either way there is a warmth I can’t explain;

he leaves me love letters in my dreams.

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What summer was like

The backseat of my

grandfather’s Lincoln

smelled of warm leather

always saltwater

even folded into his

sloping

Mayfair driveway.

 

Two weeks of

washing with generic

soap bars

and his skin still

made me think of

hard work, cedar,

sandpaper.

 

The name inked

on his shoulder

his own

drooped and faded

quietly like the

sea memories

of a sailor.

 

They packed away

the soap and

I rolled up the

windows in the

Lincoln so I wouldn’t

forget

what summer was like.

 

I curve my hands

now

around the steering

wheel,

around his shoulders,

I press my forehead

to his happiness.

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