I was recently given this back, a poem I wrote in memory of my Grandad. When I read it back last week, I saw all the things I would change, but when I thought about it I decided that I wouldn’t change anything. This poem was written when I was seventeen and these things were acceptable to me then, so I have left it as I wrote it in 1997. Today in 2015 I still think of my Grandad and all the other people in my life who have left this mad planet of ours, I still smile that I knew them, even if only for a short time.
The Simple Things In Life
I stand over his grave
Breakfast at 8.30
– it’s routine.
Granny makes piping hot porridge
And strong tea,
She places them on a tray with a small glass of orange juice,
And takes it up to him.
We sit in the warm kitchen
And eat our cornflakes,
And drink our milk.
All washed squeaky clean and dressed,
We ask if he will take us to Clonea.
He smiles and strolls across the road;
Pops into the shop and buys three Milky Bars;
then, fetches the car.
He drives out to Clonea,
Granny with him in the front,
and us messing in the back.
He and Granny sit on the rocks
Fiona toddles around in her nappy and dress.
Jody and I make sandcastles with him,
And run in and out of the sea.
When we’re tired we sit down on the damp sand and nibble on our Milky Bars.
The fresh morning sea breeze
Ruffles his hair.
He tries in vain to keep his three wisps of hair down,
Eventually he gives up and they flap around in the gentle wind.
Time for Mass, so home we go.
We stand in the church,
Jody and I on either side of him,
Fiona on Granny’s lap.
When it’s over we stroll together hand in hand down the street,
At the age of seven,
He towers over me and I watch,
As this three wisps of hair take on a life of their own.
After dinner we drive out to Ardmore,
He and Granny sit in the front
Reading the papers.
Around three he dozes off and we are told to be quite.
Even at the age of eleven,
We play “Catch My Hand”
He always wins.
Now in 1997, I stand at his grave
And I remember:-
With his three wisps of hair, Milky Bars and trips to the sea.
How is it that the simple things in life
Evoke the fondest memories?