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Gramp

Richard Outram


His sight began to fail
when I was still a child.
They came to teach him Braille,
but he was far too old,
cantankerous, and wild
to do as he was told,

as usual. But still,
considering his age,
he worked at Moon, until
he tore the dimpled cards
to shreds in frustrate rage
one April morning. Yards,

not miles, of darkness stretched
before him at the worst,
he reckoned. And we fetched
and carried; and he tried
to cope; and quit and cursed
the fickle light and died.

I, too young back then
to mourn or understand
the freighted lives of men,
or death as a relief
and not dark contraband,
who had not suffered grief,

now tender him good night:
remembering the glare
of hammered waterlight
reflected in his eyes,
his perfect patience where
a rainbow trout might rise.


Richard Outram's works copyright © to The Estate of the Author.


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