Grandfather's Clock

The old wind-up clock ticks in your grandfather's living room. It can be heard throughout the house if you are quiet enough. You know it is there even though you don't actually hear it. He tends to the clock as if it were a beloved child. He tends to it with as much care as he tends to your grandmother -- The woman who fixed you pancakes and taught you what true love is. Her memory fades and she repeats her questions. She asks if you need a blanket -- too many times. She calls you by your father's name -- or the dog's. She walked with you to town and took you to the movies. She taught you to crochet and to wash stains out of clothes, To dry wet T-shirts with a towel and to make gingerbread. They taught you to make baskets from oak trees, To enjoy the cool of the morning, And how to laugh and just be happy. He is frustrated with her loss, Frustrated with being alone even though she is still there -- needing his help at every turn. The woman we love has faded, And he is confused and saddened and alone, And you don't know what to do to help. Time passes. Our loved ones go to be with God. But the wound never heals.