I remember I could hear you read,
downstairs, turning the pages
in the silent house, it came through
the cracks of the floorboards in my bedroom
that let in the light from your lamp.
The sound of paper rubbing,
or of a finger moving
from difficult word to word,
the crisp noise
when you would shake the newspaper
as to order what was most important:
the Kennedy murder, the building
of the Berlin wall or the weather,
and it is how I remember you.
The evidence that you were there
was in the calm sound of your reading,
the whispering voice that spoke
of a world we both did not understand.

Comments on: "Grandfather" (10)

  1. I never knew either of my grandfathers, but you made me think of them. How clever is that

  2. Love this. Just like Peter, I never knew mine either. But quite magically you bring them to life!

    L&H xx

    • Hi Christine

      I knew one of my grandfathers, he died when I was 14, so thinking of it, this can’t have been my own grandfather. I think the person I remembered in this poem, is the grandfather of my cousin in Belgium! šŸ™‚ It was a very safe feeling.

      L&H xx

  3. They are special, these grandfathers. Knowing mine intimately – connections to the mysterious past – stories of ancestors and another time so long ago – they were the warp and woof of my childhood…

  4. Never mind my grandfathers or grandfathers in general, this is a good poem, very evocative.

  5. Oooh, this is a wonderful poem, Ina. I am writing a short story about reading (especially silent reading) right now, and this so captured its ‘calm sound’ and ‘whispering voice’.

    ‘turning the pages
    in the silent house’

    This is how reading can takes us in and out of the world. And the way you have written this is how to really bring a character to life … through those intimate little things that make them who they are. I really felt I was in your grandfather’s presence. XO

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