The TV washes the house in blue light
needling out through the blinds

over the dead tomato plants, over the frozen roses.
They want us to take erection pills,

though our women have all passed
menopause, they want us to dye the gray

from our hair, they want us to go back
to high school. You don't see any TV cameras

following you along Queens Boulevard
and you don't care who you bump into

going to meet your new grandson,
aged thirteen days, the flesh of his face,

the palm of his hand moist and wrinkled
gripping the end of your finger, the pulp

of his scalp turning red as he cries
and you hold him against your chest.

Grandfather of time with no money,
grandfather of trash bins and hardboiled eggs,

sweeping the leaves from the driveway,
washing the iron pan.

You stroke his back hoping he'll burp for you,
hoping he'll puke on your shirt.

--- From Blue Rust
Joseph Millar
©2012 Carnegie Mellon University Press
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