I was in the midst of scanning childhood photos my mom had compiled into an album for me some time ago. The resulting sketch personalized and lent realism to the picture of my granddad, sister and me.
I sat on grandad’s lap to play,
Engrossed in “Birdy fly away.”
And when I heard his trombone horn,
My love for sound and song was born.
He pounded on the keyboard loud,
And entertained the gathered crowd.
His voice rang out with lyrics clear;
We all joined in; no hint of fear.
But most all his tales he’d tell:
The lineman’s pole from which he fell.
Or pumping hard, track’s little car,
The train was coming not too far!
The time with hammer and nail in hand,
We built that house on vacant land!
Was there a thing he could not do,
With simple tape or drops of glue?
As time wore on, now always there;
He sat content in that old chair.
He looked and grinned and said, “Hello;”
But soon it was his time to go.
He breathed his last in my old place;
Five short a century saw God’s face.
And now I muse, though gone away,
From heaven peering he did say:
“I’ve moved a lot along life’s track;
With no regrets or looking back.
So trust in God, don’t look ahead;
Embrace each day you have instead!”
Composed 9/4/1999; Edited 6/15/2018
This poem is a reflection on my granddad’s influence. He worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad.