Palmistry

On a wintry night, I lay my hand against your cheek
And told you a fairy tale my grandfather once read to me.
In that forgotten memory, he sparks to life once again.
A bittersweet joy rouses in my heart,
Makes rich the honey of my words,
Provokes the desire to hold you carefully in comfort;
To adore you as he simply once adored me —
That giving reserved only for children,
And although we no longer laugh so freely
I press my palm to yours
And in the silence know, our heart lines have met
And embraced each other.

Grandfather

You have always treated me well and kindly
And spoiled me with the love that might have been your mother’s
Before you were spirited away from a revolution
And became a beggar teacher with a young wife
And crossed the seas to skin your knuckles
Trying to become a chef where the demands cut
You raw to the blood beneath
And froze your heart to two wayward sons
One too slow and heartbreaking to watch
And the other one too clever
With a memory too long, holding grudges
But you have always treated me kindly
And I will embrace you and dot your wrinkled face
With kisses, because for all your faults
I love you

South Ferry

The lady on the brine we never visit
Her pale green gown rises like a strange tree on the Horizon
The sway of the boat lulls us across the narrow strait
Muddy dark and deep, urban waters
The violent orange of life jackets crouch
Beneath the hard wooden seat against my legs
As I stare out and you sit by, with an arm to ready upon my knee
The ship docks and calls for those to disembark
But we bide our time patiently and I climb down
To lean against your shoulder
As we make our roundtrip home, although we have never left