Skip to main content

Meeting My Grandson in Regensburg/ Cheerios in Bed in Berlin/ A Voice Speaks Late of You, three poems by Norbert Krapf

Three poems by Norbert Krapf:

Meeting My Grandson in Regensburg

A whole Popo
cupped in a hand

a tiny heart beating
against my chest

and puffs of breath
kissing my neck,

I look down upon
an innocence asleep

and would live
long enough

to love and protect
and sing it forever.

Cheerios in Bed in Berlin
You are in bed in Berlin and smiling
brightly as you hold a yellow box
of American Cheerios your Colombian
mother bought you as special treat.

In the next frame your head is tilted
and thrown back, mouth wide open,
as you salivate your circles of O oats!
Little things delight you the most.

Little man who savors what is small
and not always easy or cheap to find,
you readily give yourself to showing
how deeply you appreciate what

comes your way. Your smile is your
expression of gratitude, your thanks
come out baked half German, half English,
and your Love is expressed Wuff-oooh!

You don't want to be anywhere else.
Your favorite munchies are in your mouth.
The right light fills both your dark eyes.
You love the world wherever you are in it.

A Voice Speaks Late of You

Little one, I was listening to voicemails 
and came to a voice no longer here 
except in this last deep-breath message.

This was Louis, your great-uncle,
near the end of his life, summoning
whatever breath his lungs could give.

The message came from a Veteran's Home
in southwestern Louisiana in response
to the picture your grandmother sent to him.

In a low voice full of late gratitude, Great-Uncle 
Louis slowly voices his appreciation of you, 
your coming, your presence, your being

with us here as he was about to leave us.
The sound of his voice is more than half full 
of a world beyond this one calling him there.

Great-Uncle Louis says you are a beautiful child.  
He implies more than he says, lets us know 
he welcomes your sweet sacred presence.

This is the testimony he left behind for you.
This is a recording of his voiced welcome to you.
This is my poem embedded with his love for you.

About Norbert Krapf: The former Indiana Poet Laureate is the author of eleven poetry collections and The Return of Sunshine: Poems by a Laureate for Ecstatic Grandparents. He is the winner of a Glick Indiana Author Award, a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and he collaborates with bluesman Gordon Bonham. More: