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The Kristy Corner

I Love You, Gramps

I remember sticky Friday afternoons

Eating sponge Kiss-cakes

In the backseat of your car after school:

Dipping my finger

Into the creamy middle

Of each cake,

Savoring every last lick

Then washing it down

With cold Coke

In tiny plastic cups

Just right for small hands:

Yellow for me,

Green for Re.

I remember sitting cross-legged

In your gallery,

The sun hot on my skin

Beneath the cotton

Of my uniform skirt,

As we played Donkey

And Rummy

And laughed when Re lost

Or when I tilted my cards

So that everyone could see.

I remember listening to stories

You’d tell about flying

Over Tobago during

Hurricane Flora

And about the old days

When Daddy was growing up

And you were headmaster.

I remember the birthday-card

You gave me when I turned eleven -

The blue one with the matching

Blue hundred-dollar bill,

I remember you dabbing Wings

Behind my ears,

And putting Bryl Creem

In my hair,

Though it was only for boys.

I remember walking

Down to Chai with you

And how you would boast

About your smart granddaughter:


You know how many times

I hope and pray

For those good ol’ days?

How many nights

I lie awake cursing

Alzheimer’s for robbing us

Of those shared memories?

But there is no anger

Or hurt or pain

In your grey-black eyes;

There is no blame.

You smile

Your gentle smile

And squeeze my hand.

(c) Kristy Kassie, February 23, 1999

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