I am not sure why this last visit affected me so much. My Grandparents are old. They have been married almost seventy years, have four children, eighteen grandchildren (not counting wives and husbands) and countless great grandchildren. They have led full, interesting lives; the stuff stories are made of and have been made of. It shouldn't come as a surprise to me that my Grandparents are aging, but it has.
When I got home from brunch I tried to put into words how it felt to see my Grandpa in the state he is now, but the story sounded too much like poetry (or as some may say too much like CanLit). For the past couple of years, in order to stop my poetry writing from stagnating, I have decided to play with form. I cut up the story I attempted to write about my Grandpa, put it into a bag, shook it up and dropped it onto the floor. The lines of the poem became where the pieces fell, with a bit of tweaking of words so it makes sense. Dada poetry. Here it is:
My Disappearing Grandpa
His secret is that he is more than a human being
but the fact is that when I hug him
he feels more like a lesson on anatomy.
(that is the spine...)
And when he tries to speak
urging his mouth to form words
they tell us that my Grandpa's kidneys are failing him.
(the tailbone is located there...)
To me, however, he's just my Grandpa
and I wonder what the failing kidneys would think
if they were in my place.
I watch him. Coaxing the thought in his head to reach his mouth
He can barely lift his skeletal arms
but he still eats three muffins and I wonder how he stays so thin.
(those are the shoulder blades...)
Two pieces of ham and egg soufflé later he hesitates.
I want to tell him that I miss his stories but I'm failing him because
if he were to hug me goodbye, it's connotation would be dying.
And what scares me the most is.
(those are his rib bones...)
My aunt has brought us brunch.