Grandfather. (Prose)

Sometimes I wonder who you were, what kind of person you were. You were my father’s father. You are dust now. You are in the death of an ocean well. 

This glow like an oil lamp through my window as I write on the anointed page, I thought of you tonight; a star-still night that moves enraged shores on a pioneer of darkness. You were in a dark time. Slept through the metal, the blood, and the strange perverseness of a dream. Maybe night terrors. It was most likely PTSD from a war that did nothing but ruin good men. A shelter of fusion, white as bone, and red as arteries that accompany you in the whispers of the snow, poetic in the bruised blossoms masked in silence; and a dream of life. 

Your voice is like death. Your skin is death. Your hair is death. To be part of the blue you are now, we don’t even know how you went. You were very sick, my mother had told me. Eyes a tulip shade, stillness that could be mistaken by the dead birds—a mirage of an unfolding past. You make me think of a tree and life. How strange. You’ve been abandoned in fragments in memory—it’s like sand. You kick them in the waves, and they thrash around in the waters until they are forgotten into the beauty—the beauty of the ocean. You’re a droplet off the planet, abraded by torment and tragedy all throughout your life. Gone. Then lost. Fragile in the small breath of the world, a temporal feeling of sorrow bubbles behind my face, rived like a rock. 

In a hungry expanse of the dry and winter of the season, I remember when my father told me I spoke to you on the phone once. I remember something like that, I pause, but it is empty like the wings of a moth; and at times, I must have confused it to talking with my uncle. I was a child, five or six. It doesn’t make a difference as I was entombed by a hazy detachment—obliviousness. My memory is dislocated on this. Thrashed around like the wind that becomes colder, a spirit to the shadows by the blackness of a fruit bush. Shards of your person, you’re a ghost in my head. You’re small bones in a coffin. You were pursued by the hunt of a war that took your mind. There is always an impracticality of humanity when I think of you—it blossoms like a tumor that you were here once on the same planet as me. Existing. Lines crossed once but never again. You exist in the words, in the pictures, and in the letters. But, somehow, you never existed to me as real. You were a figment, a reeded shadow that burrows itself into the twisted grottos. 

You were my Grandfather.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved.

A/N: Listened to this while writing. It made me think of my Grandfather, inspiring this piece.

Also for reference, my Grandfather served in Vietnam.

59 thoughts on “Grandfather. (Prose)”

      1. You know, we can use the past tense for our ancestors, but the role is permanent. Haha, Alfred the Great is my 31st great grandfather!
        Just thinking about your grandfather… does the picture change went he is no longer past tense?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In a way, it does actually. I think in that way his memory is still alive in what he left behind if I change the past tense to present tense. That is an interesting perspective. Thank you! ❤ ❤


  1. Interesting that you can be inspired, or at least be swayed by great, or even merely good music. I find music can spark an idea that otherwise you wouldn’t feel, it can step you down a different path, wind you up with something written that was not there before that first note, A weird kind of sum of many parts. That joy, the inspiration of music.
    Then again, on the distaff side, there’s always the omnipresent Taylor Swift.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. Music is very evocative into uncovering covert emotions that manifest within us. It often, indeed, does inspire new ideas by tapping into those emotions from how it connects. It definitely is a sum of a whole and it is inspiring.

      Hahaha! Yes, there is always Swift.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your Grandfather. My condolences.

      I am glad that this poem resonated with you. Blessings, my friend. I am sorry about your loss.


  2. I still remember my grandfather (father of my father). But I didn’t have much memory of him. We didn’t get to spend as much time as we should have since my father’s mother never liked my mom…so she didn’t like us either. But I remember and I still feel the love my grandfather had for us. He loved my mom too despite his wife feeling detached from us. He had big hands and I wrote a poem about him before. This made me tear up remembering what little memory I have of him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so sorry to hear that. Your story is similar to mine in a way. I never knew my Grandfather directly, and from the war, it ruined him both physically and mentally. Being as I was young at the time, I couldn’t interact with him. Only spoke to him once or twice on the phone.

      I feel through your words the love and admiration you have for your Grandfather. It’s the memories, despite how infrequent, that can hold us on to the ones we love, and so we honor their legacy.

      I am glad this could resonate and I am very sorry for your loss. Hugs. ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very tragic… but very true .. Lucy…. war deprives a person of his humanity… I’ve seen the blank faces and distorted minds of friends who returned from Vietnam…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading. I am so sorry to hear how the war impacted your friends.

      What is horrible as well was the situation that veterans came back to after returning from Vietnam: No welcome home parades, and nothing really to help veterans get back on their feet initially after the war like in WWII. It was terrible.

      The perspective of war depriving a person of their humanity is very true. Somehow, I didn’t make that connection myself as I was writing, rather focusing my Grandfather’s humanity in his existence in name only as I never met him personally.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you are under the protection of your grandfather, and you writing this post about him has made him happy to know he is not forgotten. Sending you love.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was truly a sad, and a deep story you’ve written. It kind of brings back many memories just by reading this. It’s like you can actually picture a story that’s being told, right before your eyes

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so painfully beautiful, Lucy…the Vietnam War, hideous…it was my generation’s war, what’s left of us…pieces. I could read your poem over and over…

    Liked by 1 person

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