Grandpa’s Gift

Grandpa Kelsey remembered by Greg Powell with love

ninety something
birthday. Grandpa
Kelsey came by,
gave seedling gift
to plant in back
yard. a gift to
root and grow like
our boys root,
grow like Deb’s and
my lives, root and
grow until we
commune with earth
and sky. he gave
us an apple
tree and a fruit
cocktail tree. he
handed to us
low key, set it
on the floor, no
big deal. he was
like that. rich deep
In little ways,
and real big things,
like when Big Ma,
wife sixty years,
died and he wove
his pain like quilt,
spread over rock
and spoke few words
rich as blood words
simple short words,
like Marley say
light as feather
heavy as lead

years later, boy
in college and
younger man seed
sprouts into teen
eighth grade grad, while
apple tree sprouts
blooms in backyard,
soon swell into
Sour apples
Grandpa Kelsey’s
backyard gift roots,
deep as wisdom
deep as words spoke,
still speak from tree,
steady through storms
stretching for sun…

Grandpa gone now;
tree grown big as
thoughts of Kelsey
quilted over
my own rock. his
life legacy
spreads in back yard,
pretty tree, spread wide
across my eyes,
seeing time pass
day and years move
on. I see spring
branches bloom and
hope apples grow
less sour this
year. perhaps to
fill pies for us
for desert and
to remember…

Grandpa’s other
gift: fruit cocktail
tree; we planted
it and watered
it and nurtured
it, for a time.
It did not grow.

fruit cocktail tree
leaves dropped to ground
became barren
nothing more than
dim memory
stick in ground; I
think because it
never became
something to be