You said the ground was covered in clock pieces and I was surrounded.
Everyone was looking up from their Christmas presents,
Surprised, confused, a little uneasy,
As you pointed at me insisting,
“The floor is covered in clock pieces, you’re going to cut yourself!”
Watching, as you jumped in surprise as your wife of fifty years,
Put her hand on yours to calm you down,
And you looked at her as if she was a complete stranger.
The woman before you with a white crown of hair,
Once the six-year old girl you promised to marry.
We watch as you look down at your hands,
Large, worn out and wizened by time; as if they hold the answers
Hands that once graded Astronomy papers,
Held your children and grandchildren with equal care
Filled in endless crossword puzzles
Played chess and mended kites
Fixed zippers with soap and drew star charts.
Now, sitting quietly on your lap, trembling and tired from use.
Memory, a foggy haze as you look around at your children and their children,
Keeps you from looking around with your normal smile, and instead you look completely lost.
And it hurts, more than I can possibly say,
To have you, Grandpa,
Who used to know every star,
Every fact worth knowing,
Say to Grandma,
“She’s not listening. That girl doesn’t know she’s sitting on clock pieces.”