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  • John Grey

The Heirs Apparent and Not Apparent

The Heirs Apparent

and Not Apparent

The house is about to be divided.

"Why wait until I die," says his wife.

She figures his stuff would be

better off in the hands of those

who could find some use for it.

And she was never one for shrines.

His shaving gear goes in the trash

but his fishing rod, the one

he hasn't used in years.

is bequeathed to an outdoorsy nephew.

His tool kit quickly becomes

a focal point for grabbing hands.

She is pleased to hear people say

that his chainsaws and screwdriver sets

are all top of the line.

But his books are another matter.

The family that pour through his makeshift study

are uniformly indifferent to the written word.

He was always a curious man.

even at the end, eager to learn something

that he didn't know.

So how do you pass intelligence down

to dullards.

He would immerse himself

in those volumes for hours on end

while she went about her business.

That was one of the reasons why she loved him.

He knew how to be apart from her.

She'll no doubt, donate those volumes.

to some charity or other.

He has no equivalent so he'll be

spread among many.

Every stranger she comes across

could be but one fraction

of his whole.

That's why she loves him still.

—John Grey


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