(22 May 1968 - 4 November 2010 / Long Island, NY.)

Saturday With Grandfather

“Saturday afternoon and Texaco is broadcasting from the Met.”

My Grandfather sits on his big, drab colored recliner
In perfect center before the glowing
tubes of his old Heath-Kit radio.
An apricot brandy swishes in a large glass.

Peter Allen’s elegant voice booms as my Grandfather smiles.
He is comfortable in his anticipation of the downbeat and then the first note that seems to explode like a nova through the radio.

La Forza del Destino

Giuseppe Verdi will soon paint the air
in vivid tones of black and orange.
“Listen for the aggressive motif of DESTINY”
Peter Allen explains to us as the overture begins.

My Grandfather takes hold of his brandy
like a boy of five takes hold of his glove at a ballgame.
James Levine conducts the orchestra
as the Marquis unfolds his aria

The room is tense
I am tense

It is though my Grandfather is there now, his eyes are closed.
In his mind he holds the small,
foam-white hand of Leonora in a courtyard in Seville.

La Forza del Destino

I feel his chill and appreciate the beauty of this precious
moment we are sharing.
It has been far too many years away from the Met for him,
too many years of eyes shut before his radio.

He has shared so many stories with me though
sneaking in his brandy flask.
Sitting in the Mezzanine, my Grandmother so embarrassed.
Looking away, looking away.

He is nearly ninety now, my Grandmother gone seven years.
He understands that his time will be soon, he is at peace though.
Such perfect peace on this Saturday afternoon
and the music too is so lovely.


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