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A Poem for My Grandfather

Ab Initio


as we drove along freshly shorn paths

through the prairie, the birds flitted up around the

pickup truck and you


told me casually of the

red-wing blackbird, and how it

protects it’s young;


and of the brown thrasher and

it’s one thousand simple songs;

and of the hummingbirds who travel so very far from home each season;


and of the sandhill cranes, and how you hoped they would

return to their nesting grounds by the pond

again that year. You loved those cranes, and i remember


the longing look you got in your eyes when you thought that

they might call your home their home as well.

perhaps they could love You too, in their own way,


for the water, and the fish and the

refuge—that unexpected blessing of a pond

in gratiot, wisconsin.

You never needed any thanks from those cranes,

no promise, no affirmation,

no recognition, nor award, nor medal;


all You needed was for those cranes

to allow You to be a quiet part of their beautiful existence, and

to provide them with something that might give them an exceptional joy;


whatever exceptional joy a sandhill crane might feel.






In memory of Norman Joseph Rubash, 1932-2019; Memory Eternal

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© 2019 L.C. Getz

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