Giving Back

Grandma Julie and Grandpa John asked me to move in with them.

I think they were worried about me because I lost my job,

And I couldn’t pay my rent or buy food.

I was just sitting around feeling sorry for myself.


They show me unconditional love.

They always have; and I hope they always will.

No one else in my family has ever done that.

Not even my parents. And only a few friends.


So, I moved in with them four days past.

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

And now I worry about them.

They seem so old now.

I think it’s time I took care of them,


They are worried about COVID-19,

More than they will say. But I see it in their eyes.

Last night I heard Grandma crying.

She is afraid her friends will catch it.


She worries about friends, relatives, and Grandpa

More than she worries about herself.

I love my Grandma.

I love her unconditionally.


The other day on the telephone

I told Grandma Julie

How much I liked Grandpa John’s stories.


I told her he made me see things

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Through his eyes

From so very long ago.


She laughed when I said it,

because it wasn’t so long ago

In their lives.


And then she told me

That I should take his stories

With a grain of salt.


She said that Grandpa John

Always added details that

Might not have happened.


Or that not every girl

Or woman swooned over him.

And she laughed again.


Then she said quietly

That the stories helped him forget

That those days will never return.


I need to ask him

To tell me more stories.

For the sake of both of us.

Cat tale

Photo by Abigail Sisson on Unsplash

My dad hates cats and

I’m not fond of them.

I wouldn’t put kittens

In a gunny sack and

Throw them in the river.

I like the river too much.

My dad might do that.

He is a scoundrel.

Once he tied a firecracker

To a cat’s tail and set it off.

The cat was hurt and scared

But that didn’t stop it from

Scratching my dad.

That’s why I don’t truly

Hate cats.

That’s what love is like

Photo by MCML ➖XXXIII (steal my _ _ art) on Unsplash

Because he pinched Thelma the waitress

On her big butt

Aunt Cissy threw Uncle Arlo out

After punching him in the gut.


He wept and pleaded

To be allowed back in

And nearly succeeded

After buying her gin.


But Auntie C stood her ground

And locked the windows and doors.

Uncle A shouted and fussed,

But left to visit the town whores.


A week or two passed

He called her his dove.

She knew he cheated but let him back,

And that’s what we call love?

Uncle Arlo’s Change

Uncle Arlo took my picture

I asked Uncle Arlo a question

And he squirmed like a greased pig.

It wasn’t that he couldn’t answer,

He just didn’t give a fig.


Uncle Arlo was a lawyer

Until he was disbarred.

They charged him with incompetence.

He said it was a canard.


He never had time for me

Before my Big Change.

Now his hands want to pet and squeeze.

I stay out of his range.

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