You Are My Grandfather There is no smoothed wooden casket of your past to unlock, it is not that simple
I knew, that your properly cut ashen hair reminded me of paddy fields, that cricket was your life
that the tropical sun always peaked through the window to put a spotlight on your trophy shelf
because you never did
Believe me, I knew your gift of green pears from the yard was love wrapped in a fruit skin layer
You knew, after three years with you, I was taken to Canada to toddle into a better life of
opportunity and growth
That I was barred off from your language, your country, from speaking to you, who are You?
A slim, smiling woman seated herself on the plastic chair to my right
You were a principal
You translated gifts from students into gifts for the needy
An official, older man spoke kindly
You taught camps of army troops
They once lined up one by one coming to bow at your feet in gratitude
A malnourished man had eyes slowly swelling with tears
You loved everyone
One gift of a pair of pants to a poor man was remembered for forty years
I knew you as my grandfather, I will always look up to you.
I looked down at your still figure then, your ashen hair like paddy fields in a smoothed casket
that was then locked, closed
I look up at you now because I will never fully know your past, but you watch as I live mine.