Grandpa

I like to think Nam made him
the way he was. He was a cook then,
as he would be til he died.
Making food for people with expiration dates.
It must be how Death-Row cooks feel
when the time comes for that Last Meal.

That’s what he did, really.
On a mass scale.

It’d mess anyone up,
turn em into brooding,
angry, callous men.
Men with blisters on their souls
and fire in their eyes.
Men in pain.

Which is what he was, while I knew him –
a man in pain.
A man who’d long since lost sight of Grace.

Do you hear me?
Do you understand what I am saying?

A man who believed in a god
more like a lawman than a father.
A god who’d take your prayers in good faith
and then drop you at the first sign of weakness.
Like we were meant to move mountains on our own.

I like to think that Nam made him
the way he was. I like to think
it was all in his circumstances.
Cuz then it’s not in the blood.
Then it’s not genetic, and I can escape the machinery.

Do you hear me?
I feel a pull, and it frightens me
because I’m becoming more and more
like the parts of you
I didn’t like
and less and less like the ones I did.

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