Belinda Nelson


My Grandfather Was A Funny Man - Poem by Belinda Nelson

My grandfather was a funny man
Transatlantic and so sure of love in it
My grandfather was a boxing man
Mute by means of prying his corporate rib cage apart
My grandfather was a funny man with an elbow on my thigh

My grandfather was an injured man
Shrinking over time
Drowning his gills in Heiniken hypoglycemia
Regurgitating Yaowarat to Yaowarat, Bankok to Loas
In pervading slaughter of motherly love
Burning skin - flaking father with sister filled and frightened
And shamed

His bullet hollowed arm fisted across a woman's
I did not know fondly
Without their wrinkled hands scrubbing a toilet
While we were seventeen
Because in this country blessed in the hands of god
Swimming through garbage for aluminum cans does not pay
When there are ten starving, naked children to be fed

My grandfather is the loveliest of men
Of all the heavens
Treading on soot and boots
In prided honor

Maximize cosmic lineage
The threshold of doors of half-baked hungry Bardos
No, my grandfather does not beg
Or plead, or cry, or scream
Or kick at the walls for
His sons, for me
For water anymore
Or does so falling asleep under the bed frame
Sinking into the floor with eternity burning the skin off of his face
As if he has not tanned dark enough

At the end of the day
The bed frame is a bed frame
"Son, " he'd say, "Even this floor is every floor"
And water is only water so he shook for more
Is still shaking for more
Ice cream
My grandfather was a funny man


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, October 14, 2012



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