01 min 
Issue Three & Poetry

Grandpa’s Last Stand

By Ron Barton


Whenever we heard sirens

grandpa would leap behind the couch and yell,

“you’ll never take me alive”

and I always thought it was

silly old grandpa

playing silly old grandpa games.

But, when I was older,

the police came to our door

looking for him.

Apparently the pension

didn’t cover cost of living

so grandpa robbed a bank

and he did so in such a specific way

that they tied him

to a string of bank robberies

from back when I was a kid.

I don’t know how they caught him now

when they didn’t catch him then.

They didn’t say;

cops, like magicians, don’t reveal their secrets.

Grandpa wasn’t a magician though.

It seemed gramps would enter the bank

with a small bag

hidden under a large coat.

No one noticed;

what they did see

was the balaclava and the gun.

Grandpa would make people empty their pockets

and take their money instead of the bank’s

because banks had ways

of protecting their purse.

Then he’d make them all lay down,

set off a smoke bomb and…

instead of leaving

he’d take the coat off,

put it inside the bag

and lay down with everyone else.

He said he never took much



He said all this

then when the police said it was time to go

he just looked at me and winked.

“They’ll never take me alive,” he yelled,

dived behind the couch

and never got up.


Image by Frantzou Fleurine