When Grandpa Came to Live With Us

Spent the day working at home, cleaning and organizing my desk and closet.  In the midst of the dust upheaval, I unearthed my bin full of old journals and literary magazines.  Thought I’d share a poem of mine published in Spires Literary Magazine, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Spring 2005.  The summer before I returned to school my mother’s father moved in with us due to his decreasing health.  I wrote this while sitting in the kitchen at home one night.

When Grandpa Came to Live With Us

When Grandpa came to live with us–

it was because he needed oxygen

His lungs

think with rainwater,

similar to the

heat-backed thunder,

which stewed outside

Strange enough, Wisconsin summer,

humidity so thick I couldn’t breathe

outside

In the house

a whole woods full

of noises

a cowbird’s call

in Grandpa’s cough

seven june bugs

rattled

like pill bottles

The stir of leaves

cracks of sticks–

an oxygen machine

The long blowing

of the grasses

and tree branches,

steady hum of a sleeping

old man

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6 responses

  1. Wash U. is my alma mater. Did you go there? Were we really roommates??? 😉

    I like this a lot, especially the sounds of the woods:

    a cowbird’s call

    in Grandpa’s cough

    seven june bugs

    rattled

    like pill bottles

    The stir of leaves

    cracks of sticks–

    Congratulations on getting it published!

    1. I did not attend there, a former classmate of mine did and told me about their literary magazine so I submitted and was able to be published. The journal is very eclectic; I like it.

  2. Lots of imagery, texture of sounds and sights, too. Lovely verse. Part of your childhood memories, no doubt.

    My grandfather lived with us for the last few years of his life. He was a sweet man, and a fine addition to the family after my grandmother passed away.

  3. My dad’s lived with us for almost thirteen years…I think having a grandparent in the house is really good for kids!

    Lovely poem!

    Wendy

  4. I’m always impressed with people who can write poetry…and write it well. Like you. It’s one art form I never mastered. Love the image of the june bugs and the rattling pills…I can hear grandpa’s cough so perfectly!

    1. Thank you for the compliment!

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