Grandfather’s Fingers

Sarah Valeika

Photo Credit: Brandon Fick/Flickr (CC-by)

There were cracks along the ceiling,
And one of them looked like a middle finger.
Like my grandfather’s middle finger,
spindly and dwindling flesh, knobby and grotesquely twisted—
By the time he used his finger like that,
meant it like that,
it was thin thin thin

He showed it to me once,
when I laughed at him for his potty chair
And his smile smirked but that finger
oh that middle finger was thin thin
just like a crack in my ceiling—
long, just like the crack in my ceiling

And just like a crack in a ceiling,
its very there-ness meant
a beginning of an endpencil

Sarah Valeika is an Illinois poet who, when not writing, performs in theatrical productions (preferably period pieces!) and in small orchestral ensembles, playing her viola. Email: sarahavaleika[at]

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