Relaxed Reads: Grandfather

Shelby Driver

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He was a history book

with the pages all torn out,

buried with my grandmother

a pulse, taken, ripped and recycled

yesterday’s headlines weren’t worth

remembering anyway. 




Give me a letter, four across

just a hint, fill me in with 

what you don’t know, just like

one of your crossword puzzles. 




You treat death like a doormat

but that doesn’t change the fact 

that we share the same skull 

our vocal cords are ribbons 

broke at my wedding shower

Eight children are on their way.


My father


sucks it in, holding in his breath

for the day you don’t get up at five

in case you don’t answer your phone

and grandma will die all over again.


My father 


will bury you while his siblings watch

watching a family die, dozens of 

Christmases playing euchre and 

enough beer to marinate you in for 

sixty-three years, with

wax angels, knitted cotton dishcloths, 

and answers to my questions 

you could never seem to answer. 


And to my Grandmother


I will keep your dried up postage stamps

every pattern note and copy of Annie’s Attic

every book you read to me and 

every treasure meant for trash 

and sift through his crossed out 

puzzle pages to find what’s left of you.