This poem was going to be for my Grandpa. I think it still is. His pantry was filled with fruit snacks, and crazy straws, and the fridge with these mugs that you could freeze that never got cold. The one he loved had Polar bears on it. He loved to garden until he was green and brown and had to wash up outside with the hose before he was clean enough to enter the house. He sang all day and wore velcro shoes and loved to have chocolate shakes with lunch while I was still ordering salads. He couldn’t have been more free. On the day he died we even worked out in the gym together and he danced around me on nimble little feet and sent a few punches into my gut quick as Rocky would have in his prime. He was a kid and happy to be one, takin’ slugs of sugary Coca-cola and fighting Grandma about the need to have at least a little fat in the milk– “One percent. That’s as low as i’ll go,” he told me. I just laugh now. Before I would cry over these little things. Now I like to make them the center of my life. Maybe this poem is still about my Grandpa. Maybe the ending is just not what I had planned a poem for my Grandpa to look like. I hope you never shave that mustache you ol’ man. Even if God let you go back to actually looking like a little kid in heaven. I don’t know how I would recognize you without that goofy looking thing.
Questions for the Kid in You.
When was the last time you laid down
On a bed of crispy autumn leaves?
When was the last time you sat
Criss-cross-applesauce for a book with picture pages?
When was the last time you had a drink
That swirled and gurgled through a crazy straw?
When was the last time you ate a sandwich
With a fresh crunch of Cool Ranch Doritos?
When was the last time you cut your hair
Because you blew your bubble gum too big?
When was the last time you washed your jeans
To get a days worth of grass and mud stains out?
When was the last time you drove
Your poor friends to madness with nonsense songs?
When was the last time you went to work
Drenched because the sun begged you play in fountains?
When was the last time you tied your shoes
A little loose to kick em’ off more easily?
When was the last time you did nothing
And said, I think I’ll have a large chocolate shake?
When was the last time you cried
Like every little nothing mattered?
When was the last time you lived
Like nothing mattered but every little thing?
I welcome your thoughts!