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Mar 072011
 

by Steve De France


As a child I would hold out my hand

for nickels & dimes.

He would reach into his vest,

next to his gold watch chain,

& jingle them into my hand like magic.

I remember my grandfather, bending down,

a distinguished man, in a striped three-piece suit.


Before I was 8 years old he died.

It seems so distant,

long ago now.

Almost like a film I’d once seen.

After his funeral I’d wait at the

corner expecting him to come home.

I waited for weeks until our neighbor told me

after a funeral people don’t ever come back.

That night I dreamt

he was in front of a very long line.

Standing at the precipice

of some vast ethereal chasm.

I was at the back of the line.

I called.

He waved

& dissolved into shadow.


It doesn’t seem so very long ago,

yet today, I’m standing in the same

line. There are a few in front of me.

But I’m close to the precipice.

The difference is

there is no one left

at the back of the line,

no one to wait at the corner

for me to return.