My Grandfather, the one with the dog that almost bit me,
the one who died of prostate cancer

By Gustavo Barahona-López

Atacheo, Michoacán, México

my town, my parents’ town, my grandparents’ town

there lived a man who loved dogs

had ten sons and daughters

died in the house his son built

died on 9/11

Que descanse en paz mi abuelito.

 

He always knew what to do

spent it all on beer

believed in God:

smote those who disobeyed

Que descanse en paz, mi pobre abuelito.

 

I did not know him well

except through my father’s

own authority

Que descanse en paz mi abuelito.

 

His dog, once killed a giant rat

barked and almost bit me;

was punished

died of poison meant for the rats.

Que descanse en paz, mi pobre abuelito.

 

I am his grandson

the one that caught his chickens

no longer the future of the family name

I have to work, he tells me

God, let my grandfather rest in peace.

© 2020 harana poetry

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