To a Grandfatherhttps://barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/4D55BDF8-A5AA-46B4-8694-8E27E2E334B8-darken.jpeg12761920Kaitlin RuizKaitlin Ruizhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/52f19f24cc5b93bb19322aa9ed363def?s=96&d=mm&r=g
I was not appointed anything so linear
as a form like yours, nothing
so costly as your eyes—mine
are little departures, stained
where yours had been basins, washed over white.
I got your knuckles—
these game pieces,
dominoes or marbles.
I said, these joints, they were
yours before mine and I take
movement from you in them.
Someday they will loosen
and rattle, white playthings.
For now, I claim some part—
if not your glance,
if not your name.
I fold them like a pocketknife.
They asked, what did he give you,
and I said, only these pyramids
atop each finger for orienteering.
They are little epigraphs, dedications
to every stammering thing I make.
When I last saw you,
you could not watch me, but I turned
from the cheekbones I could not emulate.
I looked at my hands
and yours, beneath shirt cuffs and encaustic I ignored.
I made a fist and I said, there I am,
and smoothed the woodgrain
of skin you cast off.
I curled my fingertips and thought,
there you are.
Kaitlin Ruiz received a B.A. in English and Communications from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She is pursuing an M.A. in English at Penn State, and her creative writing has been published in *Fathom *and *Morning by Morning*. Kaitlin shuttles between her hometown of Orange Grove, Texas (more notable for sorghum than citrus) and Pennsylvania’s Happy Valley; wherever she lands on the map, she likes to keep an Audubon field guide in her backpack, and she likes listening to people’s stories—in lines at the cinema, outside the filling station, in creaky old churches. You can find her on Twitter @Kaitlin_M_Ruiz.