Grandpa Jim

Winner, "Best Overall Piece," the Bridge: Student Journal for Fine Arts, Vol. 14

His laughter once shattered
like a Budweiser bottle. His teeth

the brown pieces. Now, his beard
ajar & machine breathing,

he's been poured. Cold tile
& divider curtain replace

his kitchen; its linoleum, wood
paneling & warm ESPN glow.

Sandwich done him in. Shook
& sweated more than sobriety

facing that last bite. Beneath
florescent hum I hear him chuckle

at how dumb that sounds. Light shines
through blinds & makes him less pale.

Dust floats in the rays. I once thimbled
his finger, was once gloved by his hand.

His palm tucks inside mine, I stroke
IV tubes. Squeeze back.