childhood memories of my old Indian grandfather
| "Ind'n Grandpa"
He taught me how to hold a slippery snake,
shoot a hunting gun and not be afraid.
Lessons of respect and gratitude for Nature's offerings,
make one grow strong.
Once just for the fun,
he trusted me with a black billy-goat.
Many stories he told,
and unique inventions he declared.
As well as working on the railroad,
he was a prison guard at one time.
Standing stoically in the drone of a factory line,
he dutifully made hat boxes.
Taxidermy and cutting hair
was mostly his trade.
All around his modest abode could be found,
discreetly displayed totems of healing magic.
A stuffed zoo of sorts and animal lessons too;
bone chilling bobcats,
family friendly foxes,
an otter or two playfully posed.
Included was a comic collection of
of two-headed squirrels,
and a few with turtle shell bodies,
best known as "squirtles".
Serious as well as silly, an admirable attribute.
He always wore a hat and a white shirt,
and a curious smile on his chiseled face.
There on his porch where he sat,
in spirit I still see him thinking.
His dark eyes always blinking his thoughts,
spinning sage advice to share.
Memories and blessings,
I'll never forget I learned from him,
to be a caretaker of trees.
His voice is clear in my heart,
when I hear him say,"Don't you see?"
Everyone respected Grandpa Luther.
Best of all gifts,
his love for Earth Mother and his Ind'n spirit.
I dedicate this piece to my Choctaw grandfather, Luther Underwood. Respectfully, this is also my acknowledgement and gratitude extended to my Choctaw ancestors from Iuka, MS, and Cherokee ancestors from N.C.