What's Gonna Be, Asks Billy?

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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Tell me, Grandma,
what's gonna be
when Grandpa dies?
He's layin' in bed
and he ain't movin' and
he ain't sayin' nuthin'
so tell me, Grandma,
what's gonna be?

Grandpa told me
come next Spring
we'll go fishin' again
down by the river
and in summer
and we'll trap rabbits
and have a feast.
No one else goes
fishin' with me.
Tell me, Grandma,
what's gonna be?

And Grandma says,
Billy, I don't know
what's gonna be
except to say
when Grandpa dies,
you and me and all
the neighbors will sit
around the fireplace,
poke the embers
and tell our stories.
Everyone will cry
oceans about
your Grandpa.

But first, Billy,
the angel in his chariot
has to tap the horses
and swoop down
and take Grandpa
off to heaven.
Your mom and dad
are waiting for him.

The angel's in
no hurry, Billy,
but the horses are.
They have other
calls to make.
Grandpa's not
the only one
who has to
say good-bye.
Soon, Billy,
you and I will know
what's gonna be.
Now we can hug
and wait and see.

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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.


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