Norman / by Charlotte Marriner

A towering redwood, his bones creak. Softly.

The soundtrack to each considered step.

Veined hillocks map his hands. Finger takes a turbulent journey as it trundles over.

The blood underneath is hot. Violent. Gasping with life.

His smile stretches, yawns, tumbles over his face.

Spills over his chin, runs down his chest; silver flash of startled tuft, ripples down his arms, through his fingers and out towards me.

Galloping.

Eyes bright, full of stars.

Distinguished moustache, the hairs regimental.

Siamese twins of silver.

Bristling boot brush.

Stories fall from his pockets.

Fistfuls of in-the-night whispers and roared slivers of other people, other places.

They sit in his veins and his toes and beg to be told again, again, again.

Four pairs of saucer eyes drinking him in.

Deadly silent. Reverent.

Knees sore from kneeling. Shrugged off pins and needles in small, determined toes.

Imprints of hands and feet, butterfly kisses and raspberries, runny noses and petulant mouths, crinkly eyes and hiccupped giggles tattooed on his body.

His heart leans towards us and falters and fawns and rolls over; exposing its fat, white puppy tummy.

He carries our childhood on his back.

He is a lion.

He is my Grandpa.