My grandfather on a sandglass

They walked this path: two hands
holding sunlight. The thistles
glared at him yesterday.
How easily the days in the past laugh:
days wrapped in her straying strands;
days the rainbow bent to whisper
their names;
days of light.

The days before the blank stares
of IV cords & scurrying men &
their frequent whisperings in clusters.
Days by the still bed; days drained
by falling hairs; falling incense;
falling faith
—everything that falls wears a name in clay.

Now all he does is sit by the
old pond with a fresh void
& feed the rabbits & talk to
her about the dog’s appetite.
& in the frosty evening,
when he returns carrying the
heavy burdens of the woods,
in the blindness of the night,
I will see in his eyes the many
places her long walk has
stabbed him.

Othuke Umukoro is a poet & playwright. His demons have appeared in Brittle Paper,, Ink In Thirds, Poetry Potion & elsewhere. His debut stage play Mortuary Encounters is forthcoming from Swift Publishers.

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