His Eyes: A Poem for my Grandfather

St George098

I listen to another story—
about the war
or Granny,
maybe it’s a joke,
a mission miracle,
or John Tanner’s legacy—
And as his lips move,
voice a little hoarse,
his blue eyes sparkle.
Bright eyes like the azure pools in Yellowstone
right next to each other.
They always shine
but this time they shimmer.
His hoarse voice
become a whisper.
A single silver tear
slides down his broad nose.
His eyes are distant now,
caught in the image
of his own story,
caught in the moment
he recreates,
bluer than the bluest sky
on the clearest day.

Eyes illuminated by life—
baptismal water,
the Army,
the looming trees of Georgia,
a diamond on his girl,
potato fields and swimming pools,
bacon, eggs, and salamander mud,
births of eight babies,
the burial of one,
orange sparks through a welding mask,
the yellow lined black road,
white temple stone
and Celestial rooms—
brightened with the faces
of hitch-hikers,
strangers, friends,
children, grandchildren,
and great-grands,
And softened by
his wife’s beauty and talents.

This story I may remember,
I may not,
But as I gaze into
the eyes
that have lived so much
I consider my own hazel eyes
And what they see.
Through my papa’s eyes,
the blue pools of wonder,
I am starting to see
that life lives on
in every person who
has seen them—
every single one.


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