“Grandpa”

At one with his chair
it an outgrowth of him
or perhaps
he of it.

Wispish white hair
in all directions,
a chubby Robert Frost
listening intently
to the radio
of distant news
and call-in shows
and baseball games.

Kansas City
before they were Oakland
inept, impotent
always losing
him so faithful.

Rocking gently
drinking warm 7-up
for his stomach
content and at peace

But blind.
always blind.

Leading him to town
arm in arm,
embarrassed young boy
with his grandfather

to the bench
by the drugstore
where the old men sat
to talk their time away.

Then back to the room,
darkened now
by the shifting of the sun.
Dark for me;
always dark for him.

Then a reward.
A dime, a quarter
a warm 7-up.

Gentle talk
of idle things.
I talk; he listens
the only adult then
who would

Dreaded walk;
delightful talk.
Quiet, restful
so unlike home.

Twice a week for years
until age intervened.
Mine, not his.
High school age wise
too busy to bother
with an old blind man.

Left to my sister
to walk
and sit on the bench
where the old men talked.

He died sometime,
and my mind,
a wondrous thing
has blocked that part away.

But now I yearn
to talk once more
in that small, dark room
to cheer the A’s
as they lose again,
to drink warm 7-up
and see that gentle man
who never saw me.