Grampy Robbie was a journalist,
With an Underwood typewriter on a roll-top oak desk
And a beige reel-to-reel in the back parlor.
When he interviewed there,
I could hear manly voices through the door
From my perch on the stairs.
Sitting on his lap, facing out
I could rap my knuckles against the wood above the knee.
He said it had been shot off by a cannon.
“Give us a smooch,” he’d say
and lay a grizzled kiss on my cheek.
Ever after, for me a smooch implies scratchy warmth.
He smelled of apple juice
Which Grammy told me to bring him
that if I did, he’d give me all his money when he died.
Then one time when I visited,
He was laid out in a coffin in the back parlor
Not far from Grammy’s unbelievably fancy satin pillows
in rose and black.
Do you wonder whether I expected to inherit?
No, that was just Grammy’s way of saying
She didn’t believe in true love.