The Sphinx and the Sprite

The Sphinx and the Sprite


Grandpa's elder days
were days of presiding
with papal waves over waves of children
silver coins for each
rough experiment needing pity
mother's glowing bruises
carbuncles inside her belly
regularly erupting babies.

Slowly and ponderously
the great gray sphinx
gets up from his chair
cold drafts from little eyes
following
playing with cooties on the carpet
the furnace shudders on
and cracks open the air
he vanishes into.

Grandma departed a merry sprite
eating odd things
sneaking sweet wine
to the kindergarten
she joined them in the ground one day
being near to it
fists clotted with dirt
a nimbus of fine Dutch hair
sifting about her cold brain.