The World Changed on Monday

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grandfather

Grandmother had to be
dancing upstairs in her
kitchen – her radio blaring.
Her friends arrived –
they all talked, half English –
my mother said,
“It’s too much noise.”
But, the noise never stopped.

Father, he invested in a
bigger radio – more noise,
unlike grandmother –
following the death of my father’s
father – it was tradition
to remove all the tubes
from the big – radio situated in

the parlor – respect –
father never listened
to  “War of the Worlds.”

The day father’s father
died, it had to be the
worst day of his life. . .
His father dying in
the marriage bed, his head
resting on his pillow –
a pillow stitched with
grandmother’s hands
“I Love You,” in Italian.

My grandfather, his head
resting on the pillow,
whispered to his son,
his last request. . .

“One more cup of water
before I die.”

Grandmother paying the
milkman on the front
porch – suddenly my father ran
down the steps – he
never shed a tear –
filled with fear. . .

He grabbed his
mother’s arm, pulled
her away – pulled her
up the front stairs
into his father’s room.

My father’s baby brother
sank to the floor –
near the stained
woodwork – in the doorway
of his father’s
room, and his middle
son held the empty cup
of water.

Grandmother fell on top
of my grandfather, buried her
head into his feather pillow.

The world changed that day . . . 
on Monday.

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