My Shift At Grandpa’s

My Shift at Grandpa’s was originally published here in Barefoot Review.

My Shift at Grandpa’s


Walking barefoot across the kitchen

I let him sleep because

You heal while you sleep

I sweep the floor

And do some dishes in case

He gets visitors today

As I wipe down the table

I remember playing cards together

Laughs echo down the hall

That no one wants to be in anymore

He can’t hold cards

Or cook meatballs or catch fish

But that was never my

Main reason for visiting anyway

It is our turn to give now

I give him his medicine and

Cook his meals a few times a week

I know that the weeks left

Are growing shorter and dimmer

The best canoe trip in the world

Cannot compare to the gleam in his eye

When he tells me about Pigtails

And how he walked her to church

Under a sign that said

No Army Personnel Past This Point

I smile at his old jokes

Because I know that

I’ll never hear this voice

Tell them again.


© July 20, 2012 by Symanntha Renn

Grandpa Renkoski and me

My grandpa has been gone for 9 years today.

black and white photos
all of the old men in them
start to look like grandpa


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