I visit my grandfather quite often, lately
sometimes, he knows he is dead
and is almost apologetic for it
with a kind, sheepish look on his face

As if guilty of securing a reprieve
yet still grateful for a little more life
the way he was in his last days
treating every morning as a gift

Other times he’s not sure himself
(as we tend to be about mortality)
and I suspect he’s there to teach me
something to do with temperance

When he lived, and wanted to tease a little
with mock awe, he’d pronounce me a ‘Philosopher’
a stoic of few, considered words, it was not for him
ponderous conversation or the big questions



In his last act, he was a humble man of the Book
which meant he found the echoes of my many books
(delivered in world historic accent, no less)
either amusing or frankly incomprehensible

For such talk, he reserved an arsenal of smiles
from the indulgent, to the gently sarcastic
hands folded neatly in his lap, legs almost braided
I’d tell him he resembled a human handkerchief

There are some, like Nietzsche, who take the noise
within, and send it out into the world, much amplified
Giddoo, as I called him, was un-Nietzschean that way,
he took the world din in, held it close, and hushed it.