My grandfather’s tooth
sits alone among the ashes. A point
along the imaginary line between bone and grit.
Funny how the two have separated:
On one side, sand-like particles—unimaginable this once was a man.
On the other, bits and pieces of bone, like broken shells on the beach, tossed
by haphazard waves.
Broken, tossed; an upheaval:
Funereal tea leaves of the past.
Imagine my grandfather
on that fine summer day, June 18, 1932
standing by the open door, waiting.
Waiting for his son, his only son, the drowned son
to come home. Watching
sun and shadows playing tag as
Nana sings, and dinner’s almost ready and
warm air surrounds and comforts and …
The clock ticks.
Senses pushing, pulling within …
as time slows down,
as dinner grows cold.
as the shadows win.
Did it happen that day or the thirty years that followed?
Did he disintegrate like ashes in the wind or
just break, as shells do, when thrown against the rock?