Howard Firkin
Dear Granddad Mullens, whom I never knew,
today, a headache—still no haemorrhage.
I guess that’s good. I’m closing on your age
and fate—the one I’m looking forward to:
I proffer thanks, Saint Paracetamol.
Dear Grandad Mullens, whom I never met,
would you have had advice for me? Were you
the one I needed to have listened to,
those words that I was never to forget?
Well, that explains a lot if not the whole.

Dear Grandad Mullens, though we never spoke,
tonight, some night, at least, come back, explain
before the punch line of your gene line’s joke,
before my heart bleeds night into my brain.