D.S. Hooker, “Grandpa Jim”

Belatedly, because WordPress was having issues uploading audio files, is our third reading. This comes from D.S. Hooker, “Bridge” volume 13 editor as well as volume 14 contributor. His piece, “Grandpa Jim,” took home the Bridge Honors in volume 14 for best overall piece. It is located on page 24 of volume 14, and can be read below the cut.

Grandpa Jim

His laughter once shattered
like a Budweiser bottle. His teeth

the brown pieces. Now, his beard
ajar & machine breathing,

he’s been poured. Cold tile
& divider curtain replace

his kitchen; its linoleum, wood
paneling & warm ESPN glow.

Sandwich done him in. Shook
& sweated more than sobriety

facing that last bite. Beneath
fluorescent hum I hear him chuckle

at how dumb that sounds. Light shines
through blinds & makes him less pale.

Dust floats in the rays. I once thimbled
his finger, was once gloved by his hand.

His palm tucks inside mine, I stroke
IV tubes. Squeeze back.

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