Chance Encounter with My Grandfather


He stood, confused at the corner,
with his weathered, wrinkled hands crumpled into fists,
resting at his hips.

His breath crystallized as it left his lips,
mustache curled around teeth yellowed and decayed.
I neared with my slender hands held out to touch him.

Our works were embraced by empty streets
as he spoke of days writing thoughts in form of song,
short refrains on scattered papers in the road.

He sighed, his searching eyes intent on mine,
and gently smiled and stared into the sky,
thinking all this time I were a stranger he’d found.

Jonathan Greenhause