Dead Grandparents

A favorite topic among poetic classmates under 25,

whose deepest pain was felt while burying

old skin and bone, those whose now barely resemble

the wild life once lived.

My grandfather died in March, I didn’t care to see him

on his deathbed that blustering week. I was 20.

I used his death as an excuse to stand bundled in a winter coat,

boots in the snow, chain-smoking cigarettes even after

they killed my father. My boyfriend had no right to complain

about the smell that clung in my short, red hair,

or the tar that would damage my fragile lungs.

I drove the hour home in a blank white

blizzard, thinking how poetic it would be

to lose control and meet my end in a pitch black

dress, deep black eyeliner, squeaky clean hair.

At the funeral, no one gave a eulogy,

I made to back to school for my 3 o’clock class.


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