© 2015 Barbara Grace lake

 

I don’t remember Gramps with hair
I don’t remember hair at all
Although he must have had some
Long before his head went bare

There was a picture once, Gram said
That it was Gramps. She didn’t know
How old it was but, damn, it showed
A lot of hair on grandpa’s head.

A thick and wavy lion’s mane,
Red copper colored like fall leaves
Start turning as first frost sets in
Before we lose them in the rain.

I didn’t like that picture much
It made Gramps look severe and stiff
As if a smile or anything
Might crack his face with just a touch

And there were times when gramps was stern
About my schoolwork, chores and such
Or if I caused my mother grief,
Then, still, he always said I’d learn.

I don’t remember hugs and stuff
My gramps was not that kind of man
He’d ever gently teach me things
Then cover up by acting gruff.

He taught me how a piece of wood
Could be ‘most anything I’d want
If I’d be patient, carve and sand
And finish building as I should

He taught me how someone who cares
No matter what their size might be
Would see their home was clean and snug
A proper shelter from life’s cares.

He taught me every day I grew
The way a man could show his love.
He’d let me fall–but never far,
He’d always be there, see me through.

My gramps. A lot of things are there
Reminding me I knew a man,
But only when he’d gotten old.
I don’t remember him with hair.