Thursday, August 25, 2011
I am 8 and my grandmother
tries to hold my hand
as we step from the curb.
Defiant, I pull my hand
away from her protective grasp
and strut across the street.
She understands and lets me go.
I am 18 and she calls to see
if I can come by and help her
retrieve some old things
from the rafters of the garage.
Irritated, I make an excuse,
lie, and tell her that I am
already late for work.
I am 28 and I find a letter
written by my grandmother
amongst the grocery coupons
and credit card bills. She wants
me to know she is proud of me
and happy that I’ve found someone
to love. I think about calling her.
I am 38 and I knock on her door
and wonder where she could be
in the middle of the afternoon.
Incapacitated; she never answers.
betrayed by a small blood vessel
in her brain, she lies motionless
in the back bedroom unable to cry out.
I am 48 years old, sitting alone
in the dark. I long for a hand to hold
or a loving voice, on the other end
of the phone, that is just happy I called.
I think of when we listened to the Beatles
and the many times we played catch
because my father was just too busy.