September 1, 2016

Two poems by Michael A. Griffith: "Grammy Ruth's Old Lace Afternoon" and "Pop Pop"

Michael A. Griffith teaches Mass Media, Public Speaking, Communications, and Creative Writing at the college and adult non-credit continuing education levels. His essays have appeared in Teaching For Success and Lehigh Valley Woman's Journal and his short fiction has appeared on the Twilight Times website. Most recently his poetry has appeared in the Tanka Journal, Three Line Poetry, and Ripen the Page online literary journals. He is Founder and Editor of the poetry journal Hidden Constellation, with a premier issue release date of 12/3/2016. He resides in Somerset County, NJ.








Grammy Ruth’s Old Lace Afternoon




Grammy Ruth went out every day
(and every Thursday night for Bingo at the VFW)
to talk to friends and feed the squirrels at the park.

Grammy Ruth talked with Nancy, Joan, and Fred
(who always brought his "wife," a pug named Ethel)
and they talked about a party held here after dark.

Grammy Ruth knew kids came to smoke and drink
(and maybe even fiddle and faddle with each other, too)
but this was the first she'd seen real evidence of it.

Granny Ruth was soon left alone with the squirrels
(Nancy had a doctor's appointment; Joan, Fred, and Ethel all left for lunch.)
and found she kept spying what those teenagers left sit.

Grammy Ruth went to look over the ashes, the colorful bottles
(Some still had vodka and wine left in them, with some strange names, too.)
and picked up a black wine bottle labeled "Arsenic" and wrapped it in her shawl of old lace.

Grammy Ruth took out her bread and peanuts
(ends and crusts and unsalted in-shell for $1.59 a big bag at the Schnucks store)
and fed her squirrel friends, the grey ones and the little red one who stuffed its face.

Grammy Ruth walked home, turned on The Guiding Light,
(her story from as far back as she owned a television)
and held the black bottle to her nose and took a smell.

Grammy Ruth soon knew how sweet a half-used bottle could taste
(she swore to only try a drop on her lips, maybe then the tip of her tongue)
but two hours later she was in the bathroom, feeling like Hell.




Pop-Pop

Pop-Pop, you taught me to be a man
since my own father was a child like me.

If you were back, I'd ask no favors,
other than you give me your time for free.

To hear you hum again and smell those menthol smoke rings
you'd blow with such Dutch glee

Now your store's closed, Pop,
no more work for you to get to.

Let's go find that damn trout
that always seemed to outsmart you.

You'll fish and I'll just watch, silently
wonder if all those rumors and tattles were true.



Michael A. Griffith


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