April 30, 2015

Old People's Tricks

The doctors say you only have a short time to live.
Your relatives have you marked down as the next funeral to attend.
Your family decides the flowers for your funeral and an “affordable” casket,
But you feel you should do your old body a favor and have one with cushions.
Your grandchildren have their eye on what ancient artifact they want.
Though Little Jimmy can’t decide among your wisdom teeth or gall bladder stones.
You make out your will with a couple witnesses at your side.
You talk of death as the next step,
But you know deep down this is all a lie:

I can see it from your mischievous grin and the scoff in your eyes.
I once saw that look in a child superhero’s face in a photo album.
Now a more wrinkled face, that child still likes to play tricks and pull practical jokes.
You put us in suspense with your heart attacks and strokes,
But you keep hanging on by a single thread.
You live in a feeble shell, but your mind is as quick as lightning.
I know a tree just like you; each year the old branches die,
But the hardy roots always shoot forth new life.
I know this is just another joke, so Grandpa, tell the truth.
You know you’ll never die. You’re immortal, always catching a second wind.
And I’ve decided I wanna be just like you when I grow old: a kid again.

"Me and My Grandpa Walking" by Sarah Finucane
(Not my real Grandpa)

My paternal grandfather experienced several major heart attacks, strokes and surgery. But he kept hanging in there for about eight years. It seemed he couldn't die. My grandpa reminded me of a tree in my front yard that shriveled on the outside, but the roots never died. Every spring new shoots came up. While I was in college, he passed away. I couldn't go to his funeral because of classes, cost, and the long distance. I've been sad about that, but I got to see him alive only a few months before. Now he watches out for my cousins
on my mom's side.