Of My Granddad

Granddad, your style. Your style is more complex than anyone knows. I cannot explain your outfits. I gazed at a few old pictures, from the last fifty years. And your style, your outfits are the only challenge. Who has a more complex style than you? Granddad, how do these pictures stay together? How do you keep all of them? How do they remain in the old grocery bags you put them in so many years ago? Did your mother expect for you to take me in all those years ago? Caring more about me then you did about your own life. Or the number of suits you gave away and threw out to accommodate for the space I needed? The pairs of leather and snake skinned boots you departed with, at the last minute? Did she see how much of an impact I made on your life? On your style? Granddad, did she see how wide you opened the door for me to walk in all those years ago? Did she see the jeans you wore, the knit sweater you graced, and the macaroni bracelet you wore to keep me happy? Did she see how much of an impact I made on your life? On your style? *** In the room staring at you. You fastened your watch around your wrist. You spritzed your cologne on yourself, the rain and forest like scent drifted in the air. You are now ready to go stepping. I stood in the doorway, my tiny figure getting lost with the giant furniture. I rested on the cold doorknob, in my light pink pajamas and a pink silk bonnet on my hair to match. After giving me a simple kiss on the cheek, you rushed out of the door. The hurt in my eyes as you left; time wasn't yet comprehensible, the two to three hours you were gone felt like a lifetime. I watched you through the living room window. As you stepped into the car, you gazed up at me and watched the single tear roll down my cheek. That night was the last Sunday you went out stepping. *** Three picture stared back at me. The first was from 1970, you dressed in pressed black slacks, a crisp white dress shirt with a black cardigan on top. Your necklace peeking through, your watch and ring shining. You smiled into the camera. Your sister next to you smiling as well. The second was from 2008. You dressed in slightly worn jeans, a new sweater, and your new felt shoes. Your watch face still shined, but the band was worn out. You smiled down at me, as I smiled up at you. I sat on my tricycle, riding in circles. You sat on the steps, watching me, laughing and giggling at my happiness. The third, 2016. I stood next to you. I wore my brand new white dress and my brand new cream shoes. A pearl necklace adorned my neck with matching earrings. You stood next to me. You wore an old, worn tee shirt and jeans with a small hole at the bottom of the left leg. Your watch sat dully on your wrist. You smiled down at me, as I smiled at the camera.

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Mike Lyles

Author of “The Drive-Thru is Not Always Faste...

Staresville, United States