robbed of wisdom

I remember
holding his hand,
coarse and wrinkled
and wondering what happens in life
to make it feel that way

he was strict and stearn,
a military man,
but a wealth of warmth
is what I remember.

it’s strange not having
the elders to guide you
from boy to man.
mistakes made nonetheless
as I live
to someday hold
the soft small hand
who will listen
to this old man’s words
which make no sense

…for my grandfather