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Grandfather

A book, cherished and yet nearly forgotten, in my bookshelf.
On its cover, there is a butterfly, a likely drawing.
And as I open it, other butterflies greet me on every page.
You gave it to me on Christmas. I was six.

I look at my treasure and it awakes memories.
I start to remember the few years I could share with you.

We always painted together; I was still learning, you were a professional.
I still see you, your concentrated face while painting carefully with our crayons.
You held your lamed arm – at that time I did not understand why.
I was young, free of any burdens or doubts
And with you, everything seemed possible.
We built our own world when we were painting.
When we were painting, wonderful landscapes filled the paper.

A scene – I remember it as if it was yesterday:
You were asleep and I was supposed to be.
Your most recent painting lay on the table,
I was most impressed by it but still,
You had not wanted me to add some houses and people to your mountains at sunset.
And yet, I did what I wanted to do and when you saw my additions,
You were not angry. You never were.

I cannot remember any situation when we were not best friends.
You were my protector; you tried to keep anything,
Would it have made me upset or sad, away from me.
When I was with you, I was I;
Not a small child that was growing up to become an adult,
But a couple that enjoyed every moment that the world gave us.
What did I care about the future?
I was young, free of any burdens or doubts.

Years later, I was told what you and grandmother used to say:
“It is a pity that we won’t be able to see her growing up”
And thus, only the present mattered to us.

I turn the pages; the butterflies smile at me,
In the background, you painted the sky at sunset – blue, pink, yellow, red.
I remember you borrowing my aquarelle crayons to do it properly.
Every butterfly is described by a short text
And every species is represented.
On the last pages, there are some photos,
You, grandmother, our whole family.

I wonder if you already knew what this book
Would mean to me one day, when you were gone.
And if you gave it to me in the intention to let it become what it is now.
You died when I was eight, but my memories will remain
For I have your book that keeps them safe.






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