POETRY: FRANK MODICA – GRANDPA’S DEATH WATCH

Grandpa’s Death Watch

Grandma and Grandpa
inhabited their tenement
like two distant countries.
Grandma cooked and
cleaned in the kitchen,

Grandpa lounged in his smoker’s
chair wedged behind
the dining room table. They
slept in separate bedrooms,
framed pictures of Jesus

leaned back to back on the
wall between them. For
fifty years they kneaded
their secrets into loaves
of tall, crusty bread,

hid them behind white
porcelain shaving mugs.
“Charlie was not my first love,”
Grandma whispered to me
as I drove her to the hospital.

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