It wasn't a difficult mystery to solve; "Where did you get your long legs?" she had asked. His grandfather on one side was a good height, the other Scandinavian in origin, was the tallest, so he imagined. His own father was just a fraction short of six feet, a height he noticeably outgrew. The women in the family tree were relatively diminutive. The Scandinavian grandfather had not ever been met: not by him, not by his father, nor by his mother, except during the first three years of her life. This grandfather had been a professional soldier, not a conscript. There is a monochrome picture of him beside his happy toddler daughter, who was stretching up as far as she might so she could hold her daddy's right hand for the photograph. He was in his uniform that day. After he set off that morning from the Fens, he wasn't seen in the village again. Those tall strong limbs, the athletic build and the cheery smile his pretty daughter inherited, were returned from Dunkirk soon after, to be laid out in the local town hospital; his long legs leaving his feet cramped by the iron bed frame. Pneumonia came for him and he slipped quietly away. "I think they come from my maternal grandfather. His family came from Malmo." he replied. "I thought you looked a bit Swedish!" she said with a sparkle. Their friendship fun, but brief. ~ n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day 1 prompt: a prose poem with some dialogue about a body.
CLP 1st April 2022