Grandfather Tom
For Tom Farragher

By Sean-Thomas Farragher

I stumble through the twigs
to reach your grave
I need some talk,
some bits of string,
some knots untied

I remember our home-
the dog I rode when three,
the daffodils, crocus,
forsythia, mock-orange
blue bachelor's-buttons
strung through your lapel

Each June I see again
the red porch
with the paint and oil smell
I think of lemons
I loved your green swinging couch

As I sit among the graves
the rains begin
then I was eight
standing by the Chesterfields
near your favorite chair

Often I would watch you
walk down our hill
newspaper under arm,
and then,
the snow began
and we sled and sled
until wet to our drawers

we fell home
and you made some tea
smoked a cigarette,
and then
we wrestled
and you read to me of Mars
or Saturn's men
until I yawned asleep-
your white hair
blurred by the motions
of your fingers tucking
me under Grandma's quilt
As I leave your grave
the rain stops,
and we walk up that hill
on your last day.

Then the bus came,
took you away,
and you waved smiles through the glass,
and the roar of the bus stopped,
and we could not touch

I am never able
to walk down that hill
and not see you
with your newspaper under your arm-
and the silence each Christmas
is sad even when the family gathers
with new children;
no one is there
to play cards for pennies,
and no one has your vision;
and for a time even I didn't want
to remember that there
were no strong hands
to help steer my wagon
through the distance
and its chill.


Sean-Thomas Farragher

An abstract expressionist painter, poet and novelist, Sean Farragher has four children: Edward, Daria, Ian and Kathleen. "No matter where I dwell," he says, "I live near the Hudson River and New York City."

A graduate of Columbia University and City College of New York, Mr. Farragher has written poetry and taught creative writing for twenty-five years.

Links for Sean-Thomas Farragher:

Selected Poetry of Sean-Thomas Farragher: 1972-2000

TxM6: Taxi Murders Sextet Hyperfiction Novel
Vietnam, Murder, Eros and Redemption: 1967-1993
The Journals of Laurie Fallon & Henry Whitman

Grandfather Tom 2000 Sean-Thomas Farragher

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