Meeting Great Grandad After Lockdown

On the way to Indiana, I collect colors:
apples, sunny and round, in piles beneath
bare branches. Leaves burned to ash
on a dark driveway. Bright white turbines,
sharp as toothpicks, spinning against
the blue-grey late November sky laid out
like a cloth. In Aunt Leigh’s house,
all burgundy and violet, he takes
careful steps through the front door,
white light at the threshold, then settles
into a worn wooden chair. Sixteen months old,
you perch on the seat of his walker and notice
everything: green bill of a John Deere hat,
squared glasses, notches on a silver watch;
his kind eyes and creases, and the places
where he wears his sadness, which you,
by being born, by being here, soften
like morning after a lightless night.


Emily PattersonEmily Patterson is the author of So Much Tending Remains (Kelsay Books, 2022) and To Bend and Braid (2023). She received her B.A. in English from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she was awarded the Marie Drennan Prize for Poetry, and her M.A. in Education from The Ohio State University. Emily’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appears in Rust + Moth, SWWIM, Minerva Rising Press, Sheila-Na-Gig, The Sunlight Press, Mom Egg Review, and elsewhere.