I Have Grown Up Enough

Title: I Have Grown Up Enough

To be glad that my grandfather
who I love the way foam kisses the ocean shore
is dead
I am sad every day he is gone
yet riddled with joy that he—
WWII veteran
sat at the back of the bus
drank and ate and shit where signs told him he deserved to
elected a Black man as President—
is not here to see what became
of the America he left behind 10 years ago
he left us with an Obama inauguration hat on his head
hope plastered across his heart
like a change poster on a bedroom wall
his eyes deep and ready
like a pot of coffee brewing on Sunday morning
I’ve stopped wishing for more time
because forever is still not long enough
so I try to be grateful instead
there are no visits
through the glass of a nursing home
mask stealing my smile
6 feet away from his love
he does not see my eyes
weighed down by dark circles
I wish were Louis Vuitton or Gucci or Prada
blue at birth, now hazel
like the honey that sweetens my tea,
colors my skin,
drips from my tongue
and now
I watch them storm the capitol
my friend texts me updates on her father
“sheltered in his office, ready to fight back”
what would Grandpa have thought
to see the flag of spiders
spinning their web of hate again?
how do we clear the cobwebs
from the ceiling
and our minds?
I have grown up enough
to know it is
from the beaches of Normandy
to the water beneath Fort Rosecrans
hate is a tempest
and he sailed on
I was passenger on his voyage
he held death in the same palms
that swaddled me as a baby
and taught me to steer the ship towards freedom
before I was old enough to know any other direction
the grass licks my knees and marble hugs my palms
when I visit and pray and cry
I have grown up enough to know that
cemeteries are gardens of all we’ve loved
and I have enough in me to grow Eden.

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