They came for my grandfather

They came for my grandfather one night

He didn’t need to open his one milky eye to see them there

Five men standing in a row over his bed

He heard them call out to him

Are you the son of Kassam Bhai Walji Jamani?

Yes, he said, I am. I am Rajabali Kassam

He didn’t need to ask who they were

Come with us, they said to him

It is time

 

He was frightened

But, with a clear voice, he said no

 

They said once again, come with us

It is time

No, he said once more. I cannot

I have things to do still

 

That’s when they got angry

They told him this is not a request, it is time

And they pointed to the stairs in the air

Be careful when you climb, they said

 

But my grandfather did not move from his bed

Even though his heart hammered

He did not move

 

And they did not move

He did not dare look them in the eyes

Those five men standing in a row over his bed

 

Then they left

 

The next morning, over soggy Weetabix with chopped up bananas

My grandfather placed a worn fifty shilling note in my palm

I have angered them, he said to me

You must go pray tonight

You must tell them I am not ready

Tell the ancestors I have things to do still

 

Then they sent the children

Now every morning between 4 and 5, the holiest time of the day

They come, these children holding hands

And they sing

How sweet they are

How lovely their songs

And when my grandfather says

Hello, what is your name?

They giggle and then disappear

poof

 

And every morning, over soggy Weetabix with chopped up bananas

My grandfather tells me, they came again

And they sang for me again

And he wonders who these children are

He wonders whose these children are

 

photo credit: extranoise <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/10508943@N00/156690123″>stairway to heaven</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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3 thoughts on “They came for my grandfather

  1. I LOVE your writing! Every single one of your pieces evokes emotion. This one is so hauntingly beautiful! I can’t wait for more of your magic! x

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