art: caitlin peck
My grandpa’s thighs were tree trunks;
chubby near his bottom where his muscles
bruised from sitting in bed for too long.
One thunder-bit afternoon he stood up
to use the toilet without clothes
on his body- naked, like the tree
His thighs bent first followed by
the ankles and then the knees.
A thud (I thought a table had fallen).
In the marbled bathroom his back
bled cancer blood-
red then brown cancer blood.
Tears flooded down his face.
I couldn’t help him up.
I was in third grade.
He weighed 260 pounds.
My brother told me
to call the doorman and another
person saw him naked, so
my brother and the doorman lifted
his body off of the damp ground.
Scrapes of blood trickled down his back.
He grew drowsy in the bed;
I checked on him every hour
to make sure he was okay.
In his view:
my pinched-concerned face.
But he winked.
We had a few more months together.
trees can live hundreds of years,
even after a branch has fallen.