I was astonished to see him testing out his new guitar knowledge.
My son squeezing tears from his guitar, sonorous, weeping, and simple.
But he has always hummed and sang while he was playing with his Legos.
He takes after his great-grandfather, I am told. I must take their word.
But my mother says he loved to hum while he worked, the same as my son.
My grandfather was frail and lost in dementia when I was a young child.
I heard him speak once, hadn’t thought he still could, and never heard him hum.
One memory replaced by the last like boards in the Ship of Theseus.
Could my grandfather even be the hero from the family myths?
Wasn’t the man who rode a Harley through Germany during the war.
Wasn’t the man who shut off headlights on moonless nights and used chewing gum
To cover instrument lights every time he heard aircraft approaching,
So they couldn’t report his position to nearby enemy troops.
Wasn’t the man who escaped the Nazis, Harley flat out in blind fog
Ducking the wreckage of a covered bridge lying back watching the splintered
Rafters whiz past his face or would’ve had he not shut his eyes and prayed.
Wasn’t that man who suffered silently and died old and diminished.
But there he was, the grandfather I never knew behind my son’s eyes
Teaching my boy lessons about music that I never knew to teach.