You saved premature infants with the Sword of Damocles
over their heads, dressed as Santa in the hospital and
delivered gifts with hair the color of snow, loved your
sons and daughters and wife like they were classical songs
loved me and showed me the world of art, of De Gas and Monet
Van Gogh and Rockwell Kent, always purchasing an art book
from the Smithsonian, we would go to diners where you were on
a first-name basis with the staff, you got eggs hollandaise,
sunny side up, with french toast and bacon, I still remember
the stench of scrapple in the island kitchen you cooked over
a frying pan as you whistled, Grampy, I remember all your
New Yorkers and the articles you endlessly sent me, your
gin and tonic my dad could make by the time he was six!
You wrote the definitive book on neonatology, but like me,
we started undergrad as zoology fanatics, both spider maniacs,
the scientists of the Nelson clan, until your death you
went to science conferences, studied classics at Yale,
went on cruises to the Amazon and Antartica with a boatful
of patrons of the National Review, we never saw eye to eye
on politics, but you voted for Obama your last election,
something we teased you for, but secretly loved.
I read my Huckleberry Finn antique copy from you,
my book of Titian artwork, all the letters you sent me
I want to be half the man you were, with a loud family
four children, a ramshackle farmhouse, with willows
and a stream, Grampy, I miss you, but I know that
you are happy, wherever you are, gin and tonic in hand.


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