Sunday, June 8, 2014

Waterloo

Grandpa,

I miss the songs
you sang to me
on lonely Sundays.

They weren’t gentle
lullaby’s or children’s
songs full of giggles.

They were hard luck life
sung with the authenticity
of someone honed with survival.

While little girls were singing
Itsy Bitsy Spider I mimicked you
and belted, “now he swings
where the little birdie sings.”

Grandpa, you spoiled me
when the world lined
up bullies to break my will
into a thousand tears.

You were an island
in a sea I couldn’t swim,
a place in my heart
that kept me from
breaking against the rocks.

I miss you, but when I hear Waterloo
I am taken back to your knee and
comforted by a song my childhood
teachers proclaimed inappropriate.

©Susie Clevenger 2014



Real Toads Lost Art

10 comments:

Susie Swanson said...

Awe, I love this one. You took me back with you to that special place. I love the song too. Thanks for sharing your memories. So beautiful and heartwarming!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love every single thing about this poem. The spirit of your grandfather, singing it Real, him being an island in the sea of bullies you couldnt swim - him being the place in your heart that kept you from breaking on the rocks. They say if a suffering child has one adult who believes in them, they can make it through the trauma....my grandma was that person for me......I adore this poem, Susie. Just love it.

Grandmother (Mary) said...

This is a wonderful tribute to a great man who didn't underestimate your resilience and gave you the real way to cope. Good for him!

manicddaily said...

A very sweet poem and great tribute to that special person. Sometimes a grandparent can express unconditional love better than a parent even. Thanks. K.

Kerry O'Connor said...

You were an island
in a sea I couldn’t swim...

What an amazing tribute to the stalwart heart of a grandfather.

Gail said...

The place to learn is from our elders.

Your Grandfather taught you well. The poem is beautiful and the love is great.

Helen said...

Your grandfather and I would have been great friends!!!

Herotomost said...

Great song and a great letter to your grandpa Susie. You could feel this one from the dark side of the moon, made me sad, happy and nostalgic all at once. Thanks for coming out and writing this letter, made my Monday.

XXXOOO,

Herotomost

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I love it, Susie — and I'm glad you also posted the music, because at first I was a mite confused, thinking ABBA. But I do remember this song too, now that you've reminded me, and in any case the poem is a lovely reminiscence and tribute.

poetjanstie said...

I like this, Susie. That he imbued you with some gritty reality without frightening you suggests he was a gentle man deep down and was obviously a comfort to you too.