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He was a Poet (Flash Fiction)

Maureen had been cleaning out her grandfather's attic when she realized cobwebs, dust particles, and sweat covered her from head to toe. She definitely needed to take a break, even if it was only long enough to wash some of the grit off her face.

Sadness filled her heart when her thoughts shifted to why she was here in the first place. His passing had been hard on them all, but especially on her, because he was the one who shared her passion for poetry.

Reaching over old newspapers, photo albums, and stacked books, Maureen picked up an old leather bound journal. Time had erased most of the gold filigree which embraced the name of her grandfather. Maureen had never seen this journal of her grandfathers.

She brought it up to her face and sniffed it, hoping to find a trace of her grandfather's fragrance. She opened it up and was surprised to find several different forms of poetry written within. They were written all in her grandfather's handwriting.

Maureen's grandfather had been the one to nurture her love for poetry. Often he would take her to local poetry readings. He encouraged her to seek out college courses that would also develop her writing abilities.

The family would find them, almost forehead to forehead, in the sun-room, each taking turns reading verses from their favorite poets. Playful banter ensued over poetic discussions. Each had their own definite views and thoughts over the poetry they loved.

Maureen would hold on to this memory as time passed and the loss of her grandfather grew. Those hours spent reading Poe, Browning, and Emerson would be forever engraved in her heart.

As she thumbed through the pages of her grandfather's journal, Maureen found poems she had only heard her granddad repeat over and over again. She'd never known the poet who had wrote them, that is until "NOW". Each falling tear caressed her cheeks as if it was her grandfather, gently soothing her mourning soul.

As the sun began to set, Maureen smiled. She recalled one occasion when her grandfather took her to the top of Rieger Falls.

He told her to, "just sit and listen to the world around you. That is poetry in motion. Try to capture all those feelings in verse."

It had been a hard challenge, as it had been the first time he'd encouraged her to see beyond just writing something down. Now, more than ever, Maureen realized what he had meant.

Dusting of her hands she left the attic behind. Taking the journal with her, she headed for the one place where the vestiges of his life still remained.

Maureen turned to shut the door, to the attic, when her grandfather's journal slipped from her hand. She stooped to pick it up and caught sight of two age worn envelopes.

Curious about their content. she hurried to the sun-room, then to the well loved wing-backed chair her grandfather had always sat in.

Maureen opened the top envelope, it contained a letter of recognition for Poetic Achievement. It was addressed to her grandfather, the year on the letter was 1955. Her heart beat faster as she opened the second letter. This letter left her breathless for a moment. Her grandfather had been recognized as the "Poet Laurette" for the year 1956. Pride, awe, then loss flowed through her.

Alone in the silence of the sun-room, Maureen couldn't believe, that her grandfather hadn't shared this bit of information with her. She could understood the motivating force behind his encouragement. He'd wanted her to learn and strive towards "Her" goal, of becoming a poet.

Maureen had an epiphany. She realized what her heart already knew, "He was a poet," her grandfather was a true poet and he had passed on to her his legacy. This gift and passion was a legacy for the beauty of words.

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