ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Please Lord, Please let him Sleep

Updated on January 13, 2014
Charlie and Viola White
Charlie and Viola White | Source


I learned at an early age

a lesson from a noisy mistake

I saw one eye open

and knew he was awake

the other eye joined

and tho he spoke not a word

I was warned with a look

never to make a peep

and from that day forward

if ever I slipped

I prayed

Please lord, please let him sleep.

From within his room

like a bear in his den

I could hear grandpa snore

and I would brave a peek

to see his barrel chest

rise and fall

I would push a little further

the slightly open door

and when a hinge would creak

I would freeze and pray

Please lord, please let him sleep.

Don't misunderstand

Grandpa and I were close

and I loved him dear

but I only saw him

through the eyes of a boy

so, to me it wasn't clear

what a hard man he was

and why even when

Grandma would slip

I would stand at her apron

and pray

Please lord, please let him sleep.

As I aged

I began to understand

with a lot of help

from Grandpa

who helped me become a man

and as I watched him grow old

It was no longer fear

but worry beginning to creep

so when in his chair he would slumber

I only wished him rest

and I would silently pray

Please lord, please let him sleep.

When the family all met me

with sorrow on their faces

and they all remained behind

while I went to say goodbye

his barrel chest rose no more

and no noise disturbed him.

I held Grandma

and deep within

her red rimmed eyes

I saw tremendous mourning

as I watched her weep

but I also saw relief

so I held her tight

and from behind

my own red eyes I prayed

Please lord, please let him sleep.



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 19 months ago from California

      Hope you are well and happy --miss reading your poetry

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 2 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      truthfornow, thank you for the visit and for leaving you comment. I appreciate the compliment.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 2 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Beautifully written. Loved the images you created in my head such as trying to take a peak while grandpa sleeps.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Tori. I appreciate the kind compliment.

    • Torrs13 profile image

      Tori Canonge 3 years ago from California

      Such a powerful poem, Wayne. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Chris. I am happy to have brought back some memories for you. And it sounds like they are good ones.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Ryem, I appreciate the kind thoughts.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Wayne, I really enjoyed this. Different parts brought back different memories, the most dear being six years ago this April first. Thanks for writing in such a way that causes us to relate your words to our lives.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much Audrey.

    • Ryem profile image

      Ryem 3 years ago from Maryland

      Wayne, your storytelling is brilliant here. I could visualize each scene in my head just like a movie. This reminds me of the relationship I had with my grandmother as I child. I feared her, but as I got older I understood her and we are very close now.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Well this one just pulls at the heart strings--your Grandpa was lucky and so were you---

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you, Eric.

    • Eric Flynn profile image

      Eric Wayne Flynn 3 years ago from Providence, Rhode Island

      Great relatable piece of writing.

      EWF

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thanks Deb. Many of us do.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Nell. I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was so well done from start to finish, for I know exactly what you mean.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Beautiful poem wayne, left a lump in my throat, wonderful!

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much, Theresa. I appreciate the compliment.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Ann, i am glad that I could bring to mind good memories or you. Thank you for the visit.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This is wonderfully well done, Wayne, conveying the hardness and fear that was there, but also the love. We are strange and complicated creatures aren't we. An excellent slice of life poem. Theresa

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      thank you very much, Rasma.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Hi Nikki. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It's always good to see you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      You brought tears to my eyes. This is lovely. My granddads were full of fun, stories and pipe tobacco and I loved them. It's great that grandparents can impart something that parents don't; a wisdom without the ultimate responsibility!

      Ann

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      A most touching and loving tribute to your grandpa.

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikkij504gurl 3 years ago from Louisiana

      This portrayed the love of a young boy for his grandpa very well, love, admiration, and respect. You looked up to him, even when you were scared of him, you wanted to be near him and watch him and learn from him. Though he is no longer here with you, he will always be in your heart.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Romeo. So far the years outlook is promising. i hope yours is a banner year as well. all the best, *Wayne

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Some very ambivalent feelings in this very real verse Wayne; I guess you were fortunate that you predominantly fell under the bracket of favour of your Grandpa; you described well how kids are very quick to pick up upon the moods of their elders - must have been tough times to live through, which I suppose can harden a man.

      I trust you had a good Christmas and ushered in the New Year in style.

      Best Wishes,

      R.Q.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      How right you are, that it's up to me to figure out who your Grandma reminds me of. Whoever it is, it's someone with a pleasant countenance who looks sharp as a tack! I'm sure I'd enjoy your Grandma's company and picking her brain!

      I'm going for at least 100 and plan to stay sharp and active, as my mother did, though she didn't live that long; still, she stayed sharp and active and was still painting every day. Yes, it would be nice to sit together, talking and sipping coffee! No doubt the time would fly by and more than one cup might be required!

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Nellieanna, I'm happy that you were able to draw on some fond memories from this piece. As always, you are insightful and perceptive to the depth of the work.

      As for trying to recall who my grandma reminds you of, I guess you will have to draw from your own memory for that one. I think you would enjoy her company. She is very quiet and humble but for a 91 year old, she is as sharp as a tack, and I love talking with her because her stories are a treasure.

      How nice it would be if I could sit with a woman named Nellieanna and have some long conversations while enjoying a cup of Joe.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Yes Vincent, it is better to let some ghosts rest. I'm glad you popped in. I haven't written anything here in awhile because I have been busy on the book. I appreciate the kind thoughts and wish peace in return.

    • profile image

      Jane Arden 3 years ago

      I think that is an excellent idea Wayne. I would be sure to buy them for one. Real life is so much better to read than fiction as we all see reflections of ourselves.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      Oh, Wayne, this beautiful poem is poignant and brings tears to my eyes. How true that one misses the person, yet for various reasons, one can be glad that he/she sleeps peaceably after death. It’s clear that you loved your Grandpa White. I see a bit of physical resemblance between you. How great to still have your Grandmother and that she's doing well. She looks so sweet. She has an almost familiarity to me. Now I'm wondering who it is whom I know or have known that she brings to mind!

      Though both my grandfathers had died long before I was born and one of my grandmothers died just before I was born, I grew up around older people I loved, saw many of them decline; - all now long gone. My own Dad was 86 when he died in 1976 and his decline had been so severe that I’d mourned him even before he died, he had become such a shadow of himself. He had been a strong man in all ways, but I softened him. He loved me and had ‘mellowed’ by the time I came along, when he was 42. He inspired respect as well as my love. My elder siblings had known his wrath much more than I ever even saw it. Happiest times for me were when he returned from the ranch to town or vice versa, depending on where we were & what business that took him elsewhere. He always gave me attention when he arrived and listened to all my ‘news’, which I’d saved up for him. I guess he filled the role of father and grandfather for me. My beloved George, who was the age of the youngest of my elder siblings, was 86 when he died in 2008. There are only good memories but I miss them daily. I sense that you miss your Grandpa, too.

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 3 years ago

      Sometimes its finding out as you did that your grandpa had a special connection to you Wayne, life is like that, many of us present and past have favored one more that the other. I'm glad that both of you at least had that bond and it leaves you with pleasant memories. Yes indeed please Lord let him sleep but awaken renewed and full of joy in your house. Peace to you Wayne.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Hi April. I still remember that he always called you, peanut. I think he was like so many others in that he softened when he got older and showed it to the younger ones, because in his mind it was too late with his own children. I know he never abused grandma or his kids, but a total lack of love or affection can be very hurtful.

    • April Cote profile image

      April Cote 3 years ago

      Reading that my great grandfather is also a double edged sword for me. I was always sure to be on my best behavior around him, would make sure to run by his chair as quickly as I could, since he liked to try and sweat at all us grand kids with his fly swatter, but I was never scared. It was only as an adult did I know more about him, and his relationship with the family. Like you said dad, he never did anything to me, and was always loving to you, but hearing stories.....it's hard when you feel relief for grandma....

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you, Nadine. I appreciate your visit.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Actually , it is based on true life and I am starting a collection of vignettes that I want to turn into a volume that recounts our lives. My grandparents, the ones in the picture and the ones on my dads side, were all immigrants that took part in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl exodus made famous by, 'The Grapes of Wrath.'

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Hi Jane. Yes, they are my grandparents. My grandmother is still alive and doing very well at the age of 91.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Sha. His memory has been a two edged sword because he actually treated me very good, but I learned that he had always been very cold and hard to the rest of the family.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thanks for your insight, Jodah. I was indeed close with him, but he was a very old fashioned, hard man. I did not learn until after his death that I was the only one he ever paid any attention to. My mom and uncle were very distant from him and I could never understand why.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Hello, Manatita. Thanks for stopping by.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Glad this piece was able to touch you, Bobbi. I appreciate your kind words.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Good to see you, Jamie. Thanks for the compliment.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Hi Jennifer. thanks for the visit.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you, Karen. He was definitely old school.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Awesome! I was thinking of my dad when I read it.

    • profile image

      Jane Arden 3 years ago

      I meant 'based on your life!'

    • profile image

      Jane Arden 3 years ago

      Wow. That was so moving! I would love to know if it is based on your reality! Were your grandparents Charlie and Viola White

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Wayne, I think many of us have had people in our lives that we loved and feared at the same time. What kind of man was your grandfather when he wasn't sleeping? Some people have a hard time showing emotions, especially those who are from the old world and the old ways. Hopefully, his passing has left you with good thoughts and memories.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great poem Wayne, but I think there is a hidden message about grandpa that isn't obvious. What made you fear him when you were a young child, wishing for him to stay asleep? Deeper than it appears I think. May he rest in peace.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Very sweet, Wayne. Nice of you to remember your grandpa. Cheers.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi,

      That touched my heart and I could see that sweet little boy growing up and learning more about his Grandpa and life.

      I loved my grandparents and I miss them so much, and Lord let them sleep and rest in peace. Your beautiful words will stay with me for the rest of the night. Thanks for sharing this poem with us,

      Bobbi Purvis

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Wow, this is very powerful, a story I can relate to brilliantly written. Jamie

    • Theater girl profile image

      Jennifer 3 years ago from New Jersey

      I can feel your memories. And I am reminded of my own grandfather who was also a formidable man. Thanks for sharing!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      Wayne..there is a lump in my throat...

      Sounds like Grampa was quite a man!

      awesome poem!

      sharingxx