Nana, Papa

Nana and Papa
how could you let me
down like that? I who was
your granddaughter
    your only one.

And then you
both just deserted
me—in the course
of two years we went
from something to nothing—
    over, done, gone.

No more dutch painting
    reproductions— No more candles, soup
& chicken on Friday—
    gone, over, done.

Both of you
One from death & one from
life
Not only did Papa disappear
he married someone else—
and had a child—
who replaced me—
no longer a granddaughter
    Nothing
Competing with the son he finally
had & the novel wife
    who was I?

And Nana into the earth
first we were digging little
seeds in the earth &
then you went into the
earth in just one months
time.

They said you’d
gone to Florida but even
at six I knew they were lying.

How well it had started
you both survived the Spanish
flu
And went on to marry
I still have the announcement card
one hundred years later.
Stating your marriage on March
13, 1919.
You would settle on Penn St.
in Brooklyn—

Not cowed at all by
the pandemic in New York
and all the lives lost
you went on to brightly marry
less than a year later.

But it didn’t end that
well. A divorce almost
through death
& then an abandonment of me,
the collapse of your small family.

by Pat Lipsky, April 4, 2020