Christmas Poem

At six Grandpa’s hands were calloused.
He leaped onto beaches, over wires,
dying to meet evil’s swelling.
Four brothers dead. He limped
to the factory for decades.

Grandpa thrusts his rant
from his aching
lungs. Mother listens
every Christmas
about the War and his

(Left in silence is the nigger’s
teeth planted on the lawn,
and her brother.)

This generation doesn’t know!
He settles on the couch, coughs
hard into his handkerchief.
Their damn ipods and gizmos!

(I watch
Grandpa’s wrinkly face.
I smile, and laugh with him.)

Mother fixes her hands
to the tree. She can’t think
about her brother being
disowned years ago.