June 20, 2006

Grandpa's Mohawk (what I've been working on)

This poem was under commission from my Grama, and as such, took a lot of time and second-guessing to complete. Caveat: My poetry is not my best feature.

Grandpa's Mohawk

No sound in the kitchen
If one were to listen;
No chit-chat or other such small talk.
It had been stopped in its tracks,
Our ‘gobs’ duly smacked
As Grandpa walked in… with a Mohawk.

We all sat quite still;
There was no telling what ill
Had reduced our poor Gramps to this state.
Disease? Or a clot?
For our Grandpa was not
A man likely to sport a ‘punk’ pate.

Grandma rose, face-to-face,
(We all kept our place;
Post-Shock, she would surely put Fury on).
For how would you feel
Should your mate, once-genteel
Look at once like a Roman centurion?

As Grandma stood there and shook,
He asked her how he looked;
And although she seemed tearful and harried,
She grabbed his cheek in a pinch,
And replied “Every inch
Like the stallion I knew I had married.”

She smiled, and he laughed,
“They’ve both gone daft!”
Was the family’s general consensus.
My thought was, however:
‘They go everywhere together’—
Even (apparently) non compos mentis.

The next year found them changed,
The G-rents acted strange;
The events seem to trace back to that day.
More kisses on lips,
And they went out on trips
To Boston and Chesapeake Bay.

One day it so happened,
As Grandma was nappin’,
I thought maybe Grandpa I’d try.
Not up to the task,
But I just had to ask.
“A Mohawk?! Lord, Grandpa—why?”

He, a smile in his eye,
Said “That morning, she cried,
And said only on my constant appeal:
‘Before the children were grown,
I couldn’t have known
How incredibly old I would feel.’

“So I ran out that day,
And had my hair shaved away.
Although it caused people to gawk,
You should know, for my wife,
Who is my whole life
I would do so much more than a Mohawk.”

Not the madness we’d feared,
But to stop Grandma’s tears
There’s nothing Grandpa would not do.
Looking back, I knew why
There were tears in her eyes,
Because mine were welling up, too.

Now Grandpa is gone,
But Grandma’s life goes on,
And when sadness threatens to upset it
She remembers the day
Her husband’s coif had to say
I love you, so she’d never forget it.

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