Some Thoughts on My Grandmother
This poem appears in Vol. 1 #3 (Summer/Fall 1998) of Men's Voices journal.
I spoke with my aunt today. It seems my first cousin has claimed my grandfather's violin for her son. I hope he appreciates what he's getting. I wanted it real bad. This will be all right in time. I never met my grandfather. He passed away before I was born. I am grateful to my aunt for the stories she tells about him. He was an accomplished musician. He won the Louisiana State Fair fiddling contest, playing his violin with only one arm. Lost his arm in a hunting accident as a boy. He liked to play music and sing. He was a schoolteacher and I'm told he worked calculus problems for entertainment much like I might work a crossword puzzle. He was a hunter, too. He hunted the woods of central Louisiana for all manner of game to put on the table. He liked to laugh and entertain. He had a terrible temper, I'm told. He would go into rages and look out if you were around when this happened. I miss this man I never knew…but I do know him. His blood flows inside me like a river and keeps me very much alive. My own love for music and the healing I've experienced over the years from the music that I play are gifts from him. His struggles are my own struggles and his wisdom is mine, too. His rage, his joy, his tears and his laughter are deeply imprinted in my genetic make-up, in my soul. We are connected, him and me. In many ways I am just like him. I honor your life, Grandpa. May my own live be as worthwhile as yours and may it reflect the values you hold dear. Ho !!!.
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