August 23, 2008
By Adriana van Manen, Lawrenceville, NJ

Dark pine trees, tiered and immense
Moustache of leaves upon moustache of leaves
Nervously rustling and bristling

A kiss from Grandpa, peppered pine hair above his mouth

Insect stars caught in Night’s cobweb
Planets and darkness comprehended in vast workings of the mind

You tattooed the sky on me.

And then you began to pass, a shooting star overhead
Cigar burning out
New York doctors made Granny go broke, skyline obscured the constellations

She screamed you went to Columbia as if that would help the knife in your back

Old poems, thesis, essays
Puddles of meaning packed away in a dam of boxes
Holding fast to supposeds
Grandpa, Grandpa
You Tarzan stunt man, war hero, my famous
Teacher V-e-g-e-t-a-b-l-e, pigtail puller,
Leaning back in your chair and scoffing at the party magician

Why do they hide you away?
Don’t talk about him, it’ll make her cry
Are they ashamed of your summa cum laude?
Blushing that they cannot be you?
And Grandpa did you sigh as you went,
Like after you sip your vodka?

Grandpa, grandpa

Please for me
Find the sky
Not heaven you atheist
But be a star, an essence, you can
You were smart
The smartest of them all

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