I have a mantelpiece grandfather
The kind that sits there
Fewer creases in his weathered face
A ghostly youthful smile
On the mantelpiece he sits with my mother
The smooth rounded face
Of a child between her father’s knees
But she is creased now
Hanging onto the phone
That no longer rasps “I love you”
My grandfather was a tall but gentle man
His sharp English tone of voice
Through a greying bristled mouth
But when I was small
We made blue and green snakes out of Play-Doh
He would roll them round and round
In his big coarse hands
Making them slither up my arms
And across the table top
For hours on end
But he never tired
He was all ever smiles
We used to go to the woods
To hunt for the foxes
To hunt for the wolves
Howling into the shadows
Listening for the twitching of leaves
We never heard a thing
My grandfather though...
...ended up in a very different neck of the woods
Where he had once stood tall amongst the trees
He became small, skin tight and pale
And lord, how we all grieve...
Grandfather I never got to hold your hand
We didn't know cancer was lurking behind those trees....
But we will always remember you
For who you were before you left us...
We are Play-Doh hearts
And you grandfather....
You're running with the wolves
I know you are