daddyIt is early springwhen my grandmother sends for us.Warm enough to believe againthat food will come from the newly thawed earth.This is the weather, my mother says, Daddy loved to garden in. We arrivenot long before my grandfather is about to take his last breaths, breathless ourselves from our first ride in an airplane.I want to tell him all about ithow loud it was when the plane lifted into the sky,each of us, leaning toward the window,watching New Yorkgrow small and speckled beneath us.How the meals arrivedon tiny trays--some kind of fish that none of us ate.I want to tell him how the stewardess gave us wingsto pin our blouses and shirts and told Mama we were beautiful and well-behaved. But my grandfather is sleeping when we come to his bedside,opens his eyes only to smile, turns so that my grandmothercan press ice cubes against his lips. She tells us,He needs to rest now. That evening he dies.On the day he is buried, my sister and I wear white dressesthe boys in white shirts and ties.We walk slowly through Nicholtown, a long paradeof peoplewho loved him-Hope, Dell, Roman and meleading it. This is how we bury our dead-a silent parade through the streets, showing the world our sadness, others who knew my grandfather joining in on the walk, children waving, grown-ups dabbing at their eyes. Ashes to ashes, we say at the grave sitewith each handful of dirt we drop gently onto his lowering casketWe will see you in the by and by, we say.We will see you in the by and by.
The reason I picked this poem is because this poem is very meaningful to me. I also had a family member whom I loved very much pass away. I can relate to how Jaqueline felt in this poem. This poem is also very sad to me. Jacqueline was so excited to tell her Grandfather about everything that happened while he wasn't there, but when she got there, he was already about to take his last breaths. I think this experience helped Jacqueline understand that the world is not always very kind, even more than she already did.