He came in after the last crates
of cherries and peaches were in
tore off his hat
stomped the mudroom.
I remember Granny kept dinner warm
reset the table: fork and spoon at attention.
He ate heartily
checked logbook figures
read National Geographic
and I remember his huge calloused hands
waved off still-warm cinnamon buns.
After supper he rested in his easy chair
Bible opened to Luke 6:31.*
His booming voice recited
that verse like he wrote it.
But I also remember
he swore like a sailor at the hired migrants
mistook my Italian father for one —
I remember hearing
he missed his daughter’s wedding
later loved my dad like a son.
later hauled us grandkids
around the orchards
on a buckboard behind the tractor
told us to reach out for peaches
warned us to watch for pits.
I will return to the farmhouse
tour the metal-roofed barn
gently tread the kitchen floor
and I will remember to sniff the air
for cinnamon buns.
My eyes will stray to what
had seemed a grand dining room
behold the bay windows —
look for shelves beneath stocked with toys
and National Geographics.
I will stand where my grandfather had sat
when that Book lay open on his lap —
when his heart stopped.
* “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” King James Version (KJV)
Mary Anna Kruch is a career educator and writer. Recent poetry appears in Wayne Literary Review, Trinity Review, and Snapdragon. Her poetry collection, We Draw Breath from the Same Sky, was published in 2019.