My Irritations, Aggravations and Inspirations

July 28, 2010

“Pappaw”

first puff of a cigarette
first draw from a pipe
how to thump a watermelon
to make sure it was ripe
first taste of whiskey
first sip of beer
Rye and rock candy
if my cold wouldn’t clear
first drink of milk
fresh from a cow
fondest of memories
as I look back on them now
first taste of chicken
killed in the yard
first chew of tobacco
man, that one was hard
Grandfather
as some folks would say
Pappaw to me
he liked it that way
sometimes in the summer
when school was all through
I’d go up to Pappaw’s
and stay for a few
days as his shadow
rising with the sun
“working” along side him
until “our” work was all done
early morning breakfasts
are my first memories it seems
me coming to him at the table
still lost in my dreams
we’d have fried eggs and bacon
and some good pone bread
he’d let me drink coffee
as he patted my head
to many firsts and breakfasts
to be recalled here
I’ve remembered so often
that my memories aren’t clear
the first time I saw him he was old
he was still old the last time we spoke
sun browned skin and dark gray hair
sharp blue eyes in a haze of cigarette smoke

He was 94 on the day he died…
I miss him sometimes.

©tlh 7/28/2010

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13 responses

  1. Reads like a movie script, of course you miss him!

    July 28, 2010 at 1:30 am

  2. an excellent remembrance…i have fond memories of my papaw even though he passed away when i was 12…

    July 28, 2010 at 2:16 am

  3. a beautiful ode.

    smiles,

    July 28, 2010 at 6:35 am

  4. 94 – what a fantastic age to pass away – and love how you write down the memories and honor him
    Claudia

    July 28, 2010 at 9:34 am

  5. First, I really enjoyed the beat in the poem! I felt like singing it aloud…
    Next, a lovely tribute to GrandDad! This poem made me recollect the fond memories with my maternal grandparents… (sigh).. I miss ’em..
    Had written an ode(To Grand Ties) to my best friend – my grandmom – on the 1st anniversary of her death, a coupla months back… And while writing it, I hoped that she read it from wherever she was..

    So now, on reading yours, I feel your granddad too will have read it, and smiled gently at you ..from wherever he is..

    A beautiful poem!

    July 28, 2010 at 9:49 am

  6. DiamondsandDogs

    So often you throw me back to my childhood. Summer vacations were spent on my Mommaw and Poppaw’s farm in Elkview, West Virginia. I’ve never heard anyone else use those names before.

    Lovely poem, it was very poignant and nostalgic.

    Regards … Jhannet

    July 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm

  7. This is such a beautiful tribute. I’m envious of the relationship you had with your Pappaw. I bet you miss him more than “sometimes.”

    July 28, 2010 at 1:17 pm

  8. Wonderful feeling. You had me remembering the firsts of my own Grand Dad and his farm. Thanks, my friend.

    July 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm

  9. moondustwriter

    I loved that reflection of your childhood and your pappaw

    So glad I was introduced to your peotry

    July 28, 2010 at 3:24 pm

  10. lifeinarecipe

    A heartwarming tribute to your Grandpa. Thank you for sharing.

    July 28, 2010 at 9:18 pm

  11. This moved me so much.

    Always amazed how words of a “stranger” can impress me so.

    Both my grandfathers had died before I was born, but I can imagine I’d remember them fondly as you do here.

    — a friend of Jingle

    July 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm

  12. This was absoluetly lovely, told with such simplicity and rythym, letting the reader experience Pappaw the way you did, and choking on the first chew, while he gave you his culture and ways to be a man. What a wonderful memory, beautifully told.

    July 29, 2010 at 6:59 am

  13. A tribute to a man that meant something to you, your pappaw. Your poem takes me back to my own past and the grandparents that influenced me in ways they never knew. I look forward to visiting your blog again. Thank you for sharing.

    July 29, 2010 at 8:57 am

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