Monday, April 11, 2011


It's not good to speak ill of the dead, but I will say only that when my Grandfather died last November, I agonized for days because I didn't care, and because that's not the kind of person I want to be. There isn't a lot I could have done about that relationship, but I still regretted it. And that's all I'll say about that.

I do, however, have one gift that he left me, one moment that has stayed with me despite the fact that he didn't intend for me to take it this way.


My Grandfather's faith
was like a thick, woolly cocoon around him.
It comforted and sheltered him,
plugging his ears and eyes
to other people's pain.

One time, in a fit of frustration
at some foolish old woman's worry,
he told the woman that
every time she saw a cardinal
it meant that everything would be ok.

And it worked.

He told me the story to ridicule her,
but for the many hours he sat
lecturing me about faith,
every time I see a flutter of
bright red wings,
I smile, relieved.

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