Knocking about the blue Mylanta bottles
we built forts and cities
in the shadow of a giant.
A bear of a man
– his friends called him Bully-
loud snores elevated
from his vinyl recliner
our war sounds a reminder.
Matchbox cars in play,
my brother and me,
with little green army men
their guns raised high above their heads.
We stormed the blue bottle castle as he slept.
The laughter of Korman and Conway
floating through the room.
He took us crawfishing once-
and to pick pecans.
He was Santa one early Christmas morning,
and I knew it.
But, I never knew what he liked to do,
or his favorite color, whether it was blue.
He built things,
but he tore them down too.
He helped Daddy build our carport,
but he was drunk most of the time,
so Dad sent him home.
He was just a big grandfather man
asleep in his vinyl chair again,
like a giant slumbering in his lair
in the mountains high above the cities fair
and fortresses of blue Mylanta.
I wrote this poem in 2006, and just recently found it again. I reworded a few lines to make it less prose-more-poem. Relationships are sometimes complicated. My grandfather passed away many years ago- just a few years after these memories. And I’ve found that I never really knew him. But I think of him often.