It will be me who’ll follow,
with my wheelbarrow of celluloids,
and Sunday memories as if when I was ten.
I’ll fold your French gown tight like origami paper,
so black spiders won’t slip
between damp lace stored in the cellar.
I’ll remember the old film,
still locked in cameras you once owned
promising immortality, what a biting lie.
I fear I’ve done an injustice to you mother
I finally found the dress you asked to be
buried in yesterday, tucked in an old shoe box.
I broke my promise, forgive me.
What happened in your life old man?
Your face is paper-grey, where once the palest tan
fell on your skin. What life has living taken from your heart,
withdrawing love till small and not a part of you at all?
You’re like a tree with years of inner rings,
where all is dead outside and yet some bark still clings
with brittleness but shreds one piece each day.
Is there a hush-hush whirling round your head
and would you even say? Maybe there’s a world within
your mind that’s full of everything you need.
Concern appears superfluous to one who fears
that love is just another form of greed.
You must be someplace deep inside, as there’s a part
of you that still I recognize. I’d like to understand the reasons
that you hide. Bring forth a word or tiny utterance
that might surround a thought or even two, resembling
how it used to be. I think that I remember you
with eyes as bright as jingling tambourines when you
would savor gladness sweet as berries in a jar
or was it never any other way, and only now
I’ve come to wonder who you really are.
Pampering the Feverish Child
My daughter’s eyes are circled black and blue
the TV tuned to Nickelodeon
she lays her head across my lap to throw
up last night’s supper yet again.
With freshened towels and linens in her room
I brace myself for all that she requests
including popsicles in rainbow shades
but on my way, her heaving sigh suggests
it might be just too soon for something cold.
She nuzzles up and whispers Mama please
don’t go. An almost impish smile slips through
her angel-face before another sneeze
insures I’ll settle in for triage care,
indulging every wish. I stoke her hair.
© Carol Lynn Grellas
Carol Lynn Grellas is a Northern California-based writer. She has been widely published in literary journals and print magazines including most recently, Chanterelle’s Notebook, The Hiss Quarterly and Flutter. She has poems forthcoming in Ken *again, Up The Staircase, Octave Eight and many more. Her chapbook, Litany of Finger Prayers will be released this year from Pudding House Press. Her second chapbook, Object of Desire was recently accepted for publication and will be forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.