The Music Plays On


Music is coming from my grandfather’s night stand,

like it has every night for the past couple years.

He lays in bed, sleeping, unable to speak,

“I’ll stay,” I say, while fitting together a puzzle piece.


My grandmother kisses his forehead and then mine,

picking up a puzzle piece off the floor, she finds its spot.

She’s always been good at puzzles.

“Good night,” she says as she turns off the living room light.


Alone in the room, I work on the puzzle,

listening to the inhaling and exhaling beside me.

I’ve spent many nights working on puzzles,

my eyelids grow heavy, the music plays on.


I notice a notebook sitting beside me,

I open to see what has been written inside.

They are letters to my grandpa from family members,

so I start to write my own.


Water hits the windows,

I never wake during the rain.

I lift my head off the notebook, hearing a loud gasp,

Where’s the inhaling and exhaling I’m used to?


The room is still, almost silent.

The puzzle partly done, the music still playing.

Water hits the window harder and harder,

one foot steps in front of the other out of the room.


Eyes open, wiser than my own.

She stands to hug me,

knowing there won’t be any more puzzles.

A new song begins to play, “Lean on Me”.


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