Tuesday, April 06, 2004

He lived through the wars as an engineer
army-taught, working on radar
but when I knew him he was past all that,
fixing televisions in his workshops and,
later, in the garage in Florida
until he got too sick and people started saying
VCRs were cheaper to replace than fix.

When I knew him, he was home a lot more.

The Grampa I knew was gentle and mellow,
generous, polite, a man at peace.
He smelled of a pipe and his cheek was bristly.
We ate pancakes and read the sunday funnies
and yelled electronic green waves into his oscilloscope.

He was already older than I could imagine.

There are pictures of us on rides at Coney Island,
8-tracks somewhere with our voices loud
back before he lost his speech, and I gained my own.

I don't remember these things.
I accept pictures as evidence of a longer past
than that experienced.

But I remember once, when I was small
he got on the train to see us off
and the train started moving
and he just smiled and said
"I'll get off at the next stop."

posted by boyhowdy | 12:42 AM |

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