Photo from My Strange Grandfather, a short film by Dina Velikovskaya
The Death of My Grandfather by Anonymous
My grandfather’s death was a strange thing,
conducted in the final chapters of my grandmother’s passing.
Her small paper-doll’s body lost in pain;
that high, warm voice reduced to a grating whisper.
By the end, there was so little left
she could have been mistaken for another hospital bed sheet.
My grandfather continued on through the aftershocks of her departure.
For a while, he tricked us with his cheerfulness and industry.
He made wooden clocks carved with sayings like “Jesus Loves Me”;
painted pictures of eagles flying over mountain lakes.
But perhaps these were merely harbingers of his death.
Perhaps he knew all the while of the angel sitting at his bedside.
One day I went to visit him and found a twin to my grandmother’s final incarnation.
His arms, the chalk-white skin loose and forlorn, tried to squeeze me
but muscle had long since left him – perished in the wake of infection.
It came too suddenly: this disintegration, the introduction of a stranger into the bed
where my beloved grandfather had once slept.
And then even that stranger vanished, lost in the tumble of hospital bed sheets.