NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-Seven : Reading

Fingers like twigs,

they rustle when she reaches

for the stack of tarot cards

clustered center

in a dogeared pile

of past lives laid out

before ghosts

who sat where I sit

hands tucked beneath my knees

as if that will keep darkness

from turning to face me.

My Grandfather

‘One of the old men fearing no man’ Thomas Yarnton of Tarlton by John Drinkwater


My Grandfather no longer ages.

In photos from family gatherings he stands

taller

than the rest of us

our constant invariable.

Despite broken ribs,

eleven,

smashed sternum,

destroyed spleen,

punctured lung,

fracture wrist,

cardiac arrest

not once but twice!

Despite the bull’s best efforts,

our urges to lessen the workload,

relax,

take time,

watch the races and leave the farming-

An old farmer never retires.

He doubles the size of the vegetable patch,

rebuilds fences,

two new stables,

buys a flock of ewes

(in lamb)

(and claims they’ll lamb themselves…

we all know they will not lamb themselves.)

To him, technology was foreign,

but,

to prove the family wrong

he bought a laptop.

And taught himself to use it in six months.

(Though email still proves elusive

And the last text he sent me

was

blank.

Still.

My Grandfather is the same

as the man in my memories,

And even at my most feminist

I did not mind to be princess,

So long as it was my Grandfather’s princess.

My Grandfather is one of those old men fearing no man,

who does not age in photos,

and makes me brave,

when I remember

that his stubbornness

runs just as strongly through me.