While living in China, I mourned the death of 3 grandparents; maybe this poem was somewhat prophetic. Regardless, death stings and takes away part of our hearts and part of who we were to and through that person. I feel annoyed when people pretend like death is okay because we will all be together in Heaven someday. Yes, maybe true...but that does not make the present reality feel any more complete.
A Poem for My Grandparents:
I just want to sit with you for a whole day straight…
or rather listen.
I have very little that needs to be said.
Right now, I just want to listen
Listen to your stories of good times and bad ones.
Even the stories I have heard every Christmas for the past 3 years.
I don't even care; I just want to be with you and hear your words.
And let you know how much I love you,
and also that I’m listening.
And if there are no words, that’s okay too.
I’ll just hold your pale, blue-vesseled hand.
I love both your gentle ways and your abrupt ones I don’t understand.
and even when you say something crazy and your voice starts to slur
I just want to sit with you
and maybe if I would just pay better attention,
I’d even understand your abruptness.
For in your words, I understand family traits
quirks that previously eluded me.
In your words, I find reasons of priority and motivation
both in what you say and in what you leave unsaid.
In your eyes, I see my parents.
with opinions and lifestyles different from your own
Yet strangely enough, as I listen, I respect both of you all the more.
I just want to sit with you,
If your energy is enough, and this world hasn’t left you too tired, will you please wait to go
Until I can sit with you for a whole day straight
and just listen