Praying For Grandfather

We will pray for grandfather, she said,
in the hope that he will develop a sense of humour.
And we will pray that he becomes less tired.
He has been tired, you know,
for all of his life.
She smiled as she said it,
and reclaimed a stitch that had fallen,
rocking to the cadence of her own speech
and the clacking rhythm of the needles.

It is difficult to be the man of the household…
She was speaking almost to herself,
as though in a reverie, with the rest of us forgotten.
… so much burden and responsibility,
for the earning of the money, the making of decisions
and having to stay aloof to bear failures and mishaps.
To stifle the questions that are unbecoming
when directed to the man.

We will pray grandfather recovers from his tiredness,
she said, and pray that he does not need to be so aloof
to avoid having to explain the shortfall
in the household accounts that worsened last Saturday,
and quite a few Saturdays before.
Why, even I may recover a sense of humour …
and with that her smile broadened
and there was a notable gleam in her eyes,
as though she’d said a wickedly delicious thing,
as she rocked and knitted.

© Frank Prem, 2001

Featured in Map of Austin Poetry (MAP) #186-1, June 2001 (Not sure if MAP is still going, probably not)
Discover Challenge: Portraits

6 thoughts on “Praying For Grandfather

    • Thaks Anita.

      I was recalling this moment to Leanne this morning and remembering how straight laced the grandfather appeared, and how sharp and pithy the grandmother was. There must have been some rowdy moments behind the scenes, especially after Saturdays.



      Liked by 1 person

      • My granddad was quiet, and would turn and laugh to me when she shouted for him ro do anything or if he said ‘bugger’, that was the extent of it but she would never swear…except she had this thing about the tallboy and kept calling it the bumboy, back then was harmless – then she’d say ‘bugger!’ too at her mistake…and blame my granddad. .

        Liked by 1 person

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