grandfather

by Mara M., 16

My mom says your body 
Took its last breath when I was young, 
And if it weren’t for the 
Boxes of photographs 
And presents that she says you 
Gave me on my birthday 
I wouldn’t have even remembered that you 
Were once around me. 
That your fingerprints were once 
Smudged on my kitchen table 
Or that you once breathed the air of the 
Same earth I live on now. 
My memories of you don’t exist in my head. 
They hang on the walls and 
Hide in the pancakes 
My mom says you always fed her in the morning. 
And it saddens me how unfamiliar you look 
Through the picture frame 
With your arms wrapped around my small body, 
Probably feeling so warm, 
Probably calling me granddaughter, 
Not knowing that I will never be able to remember 
Your smiling face on my own.

Downingtown, Pennsylvania