During World War II
My grandfather wrote for Stars and Stripes,
And after the war he wrote for the local newspaper,
A job from which he never fully retired.
He used to tell me that,
For the writer,
“Every word represents a decision.”
After my grandfather’s funeral
We all went back to his house.
My cousins, aunts, and uncles
And looked at pictures on the walls.
Very few words were spoken,
On a small table
Next to the window
In the living room
Rests my grandfather’s Underwood typewriter:
As a young boy,
When I would spend the night at his house,
I would sometimes wake
To the clacking and rattling of this typewriter;
It was like a song,
And often it would sing me back to sleep.
I sat down and placed my fingers
On the cold dark keys,
As though I were about to type something.
But I didn’t
“Words” by Theodore Shank, Follow The Flickering Down
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