Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents in Olive Branch, Mississippi. They were simple people, not very religious, but they loved with fierceness. Memories I have of my grandfather, “Tataw” I called him, are more precious to me now than ever. I’m not much of a poet, but the following is just something I wrote in honor of him. I hope you like it.
Arthur Raymond As old as I was young yet closer than a minute Tall as a memory in tee shirt and tan pants Smells of blue Aqua Velva sweat and cigarettes A roofer by trade building men by vocation Patching leaks dripping water and a boy losing father Fishing for the fish catching for the cooking A soldier you would think Sharp dressed in Army khakis Just a photo on the wall Not a warrior, just a roofer He warms a feather pillow cool on the underside while Roofer sleeps us away in his big iron bed To a land of giants and pigs Where we dream of nothing And everything, everywhere and nowhere, because Another roof needs roofing His garden needs tending Pocket knife needs sharpening And I am always listening And the roofer simply says Yea the lord would say unto thee, “Peace on you boy, get outta here"