Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Grandfather's Poem

My uncle sent this to me recently. It was written by my grandfather in 1907, or, as my uncle says, plus or minus a few.
My grandfather died when I was two. A flood during my childhood destroyed any photos of him and me, so my two memories have a weighted significance. In the first memory, I am combing his hair. I must have learned later that this is tender-funny because he really didn't have any hair. I remember him lying down so I could reach his head with one of those small, black plastic men's combs.
In the other memory, he and my grandmother are towering above me. We're standing on their enclosed porch in Cleveland. He is telling my grandmother not to give me any pie because I don't like it. I am thinking, uh oh, someone has made a terrible mistake - I do like pie - and how am I going to let these people know?
I am told that he and I had a special relationship, so I'm pleased to know he also set about making poems, even if he later went into advertising.

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