I’m Coming Home – A Christmas Poem

I’m coming home-
The morning hue spewed-
We were children pulling shades-

Outside our shared bedroom door-
Breakfast was happening-
Coffee – Cocoa – Eggs and bacon with toast

First though – after the shades-
Christmas stockings were at our feet-
Having found their way to our bedroom floor-

Then when stockings were emptied-
Breakfast had-
We’d – all of us – be headed home-
Where Grandpa and Grandma were waiting-

Grandma will have decorated-
The house would adorn all colors-
Popcorn would be hung on the tree-
And presents would overflow

It wasn’t that though-
Which kept our legs restless-
It was Grandpa and Grandma
Their persons-
Their hugs-
It was Grandpa picking us up-
Nuzzling our faces with his gristle-
Then calling us Honey

We’d watch the man in the kitchen-
His large frame and forearms welcoming us-
The smell of Ham – Pork and Turkey-
His sweet drink venting through his pores-
His heavy walk which we can no longer see-

We were coming home-
Gone now though- It was the safest place to be

It’s the warmth of December-
And it’s now-
An infant watches his mother-
As she adorns the house with all colors-
And decorates the tree-

The father holds the infant near-
Watching as his son reaches for a bow-
Tears flow freely – his son is home-

The man sees his wife – Truly sees her-
He thinks of his Grandfather and Grandmother-
Missing the heavy walk and his sweet smell-
Knowing it’s more than fine now-

It is December-
It is Christmas time-
I am home.

copyright 2015 -M. Taggart. Share freely. Give credit. Merry Christmas.

Three Wishes for Grandpa

Written by Matt Taggart aka –M. Taggart

Flash Fiction – A short story about a boy who loves his grandfather.

Copyright 2015 Matt Taggart 12/11/15

 

Three Wishes for Grandpa

 

He laid them on the couch cushion while on his knees.  He was small for his age.  He faced the couch and looked as though he were praying.  Twelve of them had a picture of George Washington and one of them had a picture of Alexander Hamilton.  He layered the dollar bills so they overlapped and were perfectly aligned.  He placed the ten dollar bill an inch behind at the end of the row showing its full design.

He liked his collection and needed more.  He knew twenty two dollars was a start but wasn’t nearly enough.  On the floor next to him was his green leather wallet.  It had been given to him.  It was old.  The zipper was broken.  The wallet had a flap that closed over the zipper with two silver buttons that snapped everything in.  The buttons worked so he didn’t care that the zipper did not.  He dug his fingers into the corners of the wallet and found two quarters.  He took them out and placed them on the couch with his paper money.

*

His grandfather was a large man.  His right leg from his knee down was badly injured.  It was difficult for him to walk though that didn’t stop him from walking or working.  It seemed to him that his grandfather never stopped working and somehow still had time for him.  It was summer time and he had just spent the entire day with him.  He’d watch his grandfather build in his workshop.  He always wore green work pants with a light colored button down and suspenders.  He had massive hands and forearms and he’d ask to please grab the hammer or to please find a piece of wood about so long.  He watched as his grandfather limped.

‘Grandpa, if I had three wishes, I’d first wish to fix your leg.’

‘That’s sweet of you honey.  I love you for saying so.  But, that would take a lot of money.’

‘I have three wishes.  The second wish would be for lots of money.’

His grandfather looked over his shoulder at him.  ‘I did to my leg what it is today.  It isn’t for you to worry about.’

His grandfather had injured his leg while serving in the military overseas.  He was in some kind of conflict he didn’t fully understand.  He knew the story well but didn’t understand why his grandfather would place blame on himself for the injury.

‘I’d still wish to fix your leg and for lots of money to do it.’

‘But why do you wish for those things when you’re so young and you could wish for yourself.  Don’t waste your wishes on me.  I’ve lived well.’

The boy knew the answer to the question.  It was his third wish.  He was unable to speak now though.  Instead he hid his growing tears and walked out of the shop.  Outside it was mild for a summer day with a breeze that helped dry his face.

*

His brother rushed into the living room to announce he was headed to the ravine and wanted him to come.  ‘What are you staring at that money for?’

‘I wanted to look at it.’

‘Well come with me and let’s look at the brook.’

‘Are you going to fish?’

‘Yea.  Want me to get your pole too?’

‘No.  I’d rather watch you fish.  I’ll be right out.’  His brother turned and walked down the hallway and out the door.  He slid his money back into the old green wallet then he dropped the two quarters in.  The quarters gave him an idea.  He knew how to make more quarters.  He could ask the old man with the woodlot if he’d let him stack the wood after he split it.  Sometimes he’d run over to the old man because he liked to watch the wood splitter.  Then he started to pick the pieces up and stack them for the old man and when he was done he’d give him a quarter.  He’d even given him two quarters a few times. Now, he’d ask if he could work for him a few times a week.  He also combed his mother’s hair for 50 cents before.  She said it helped her to relax.  She gave him 50 cents for a half hour.  If he split the wood and combed his mother’s hair he’d have another dollar.  If he did that a few times a week soon he’d have another ten dollar bill.

He jumped up, put his wallet away, and ran outside to meet his brother who was waiting for him across the street at the top of the ravine with his fishing pole.

*

He walked back into the shop to find his grandfather exactly where he’d been as though time had stopped and something needed to be finished to start again.

‘Could you bring me that piece of wood over there in the corner?  It’s just about the right size to finish this.’  His grandfather asked.  He was building a bird feeder for his grandmother.

He brought the piece of wood to his grandfather.  He wouldn’t let him have the piece when he reached for it.  Instead he held tightly to it so his grandfather would look at him.

‘I know the answer to your question.’

‘I’ve been waiting to hear it.’

‘I wish that you live forever.’  His third wish was that his grandfather lived forever.  He needed him.

 

 

Note: If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy my self published short story found via the amazon link below.  Thank you for taking time to read this.  Matt.

My Six Word Story

Two babies cry, one is fed.   -M. Taggart

 

It’s no secret that Ernest Hemingway is my favorite author.  This is my first six word story.  When I feed Gavin I find myself thinking of little ones going without. Their cries shredding the night, falling on ears without care.

My grandfather was orphaned as an infant. I’m proud to say I see a bit of him in Gavin.

 

 

Grandfather Time

I have your brass Railroad Maintenance Shop plate hung on display. It’s on a beam in the basement. I’ve hung many other antiques around it. I try and choose mostly cast iron. I think the color of the iron helps to represent my thoughts. The entire beam is covered with items and I’m still searching for more. Often I’ll pray underneath your brass plate. I’d say I miss you, but that wouldn’t be telling it all. I miss your physical form.  I do not miss your presence. You’re still here and you still guide me.

You called us honey and you’d pull us in and hug us. You did this every time we saw you. I still remember how you sound when you breath. Your hands were massive and I could see strength in your fingers. For two summers you looked after us three. We’d run around your backyard while you worked in the garden, or in your shop. You’d break off pieces of rhubarb and give them to us and watch us squirm while trying to chew the bitter tasting plant. Then we’d turn on the hose and drink from it and wash away the after taste. We’d watch you pounding with your hammer or cutting wood planks while you were working in your shop. Your suspenders made your large frame look to be among the most solid of all men. You could create anything and you knew everything without boasting. Us three would ask questions without limits and you never tired of us.

There was a pile of bricks you wanted moved from the backyard to the plot of land across the street. You parked the tractor with it’s trailer next to the pile of bricks and told us to fill the trailer. We filled the trailer. It was summer and it was hot. We were sweating, as children do. It starts on top of the head and drips from the brow down the nose and off the body. Our hands were dirty with lime and dust. You drove the tractor, slowly, and we followed running and shuffling behind. Now, you said, line the bricks up like this and then stack them neatly. We had crossed the road and were in the second plot of land.

We lined the bricks and we stacked them neatly. It was still hot and we were still sweating.  After we finished you peered at our work and said it looked good and to put the bricks back into the trailer. Then, drive the tractor back to where the bricks came from and lay them back in the yard.

We three didn’t mind stacking the bricks again. We three wanted to drive the tractor.

If only you had us each summer. I often write of you within a story. I think of you every day. I’m realizing that with your actions you have shown me something of the utmost value. I remember asking you who had built your house. You did. It started as a very small house. The bank wouldn’t give you a loan to build more. You then built the house steadily in sections. You did this when you had the money to purchase the supplies. Board by board. Your house is beautiful. I visit Gram; she says she still loves the house and we do too. The interior is hard wood with thick beams lining the ceiling. That’s why I put your brass plate on a wooden beam in the basement. I spend much time there. I remember all of the moments we shared and I wonder how you had so much time to spend with us.

Freedom. I see now that freedom isn’t what we were taught in school. Freedom isn’t getting up when a bell tells us to because we’re part of a group and aren’t we lucky. Freedom isn’t having things to show others, and look at us, we’re lucky and we’re good. Freedom isn’t climbing a ladder of success to then peer down from the top and pat oneself on the back. So many are left behind and forgotten in the wake of these illusions. You allowed me to witness that freedom is owning your time. And now I have an idea.

Thank you Grandpa.

 

I woke early this morning with these thoughts of my Grandfather. Megan and I leave for Maine shortly. I knew I had to write this or lose it. Good morning.