Grandfather’s Jokes

by Tom Bajoras

When I was a kid,
my grandfather drove us crazy
with his constant jokes.
“Do you know why the Mellon family
always had such big weddings?
Because they canteloupe!”
Groan!
Hour after hour—
he never shut up.

Then, when I was a teenager,
my grandfather was driving us to his favorite fishing spot.
The car was quiet — no jokes, no talking—
and I said “grandad, what’s wrong?”
He just kept his eyes on the road in front of us,
and after a long minute he said
“ask me again in ten years.”

Six years later I was at his funeral,
and I started laughing
when I realized
this was his final joke.