This was my mother's grandfather,
the nurse told me in a whisper,
and I believed it.
He was old enough to be anything,
his forehead a craggy cliff,
bristling with blackberry-vine eyebrows.
I leaned closer to listen
as his voice scraped slow across his throat,
his chin wagging with effort.
Finding the right words was like
finding a needle on the forest floor
muffled for decades in layers of leaves.