“Granny”

A pile of stale Lincoln logs
lay out by the pool.
I sit there too,
my one inch bite radius
marks everything in sight
like the dullest of toe-prints
left at the bottom of the pool.
I am left out alone in the rain.
Chlorine takes on a different odor
when the rain comes piddling down.
Something more fresh—
like mountain air mixing with chlorophyll.
And the lights below the waterline
seem to bounce
back
with every drip.
So too, do the crab apples
that fall in.
I suppose someone will get in trouble
if I move from the chair I was told to sit.

But it makes no real difference by now.
Granny has been dead for nearly five years.
And even if she weren’t,
at the rate she was going,
I doubt she would remember
any of this at all.

I did dare to dip my toes in—
and after she caught me there,
granny threatened me,
bringing in from the garage,
a straight long hockey stick;
Telling me it was for my own good.

She hated little boys. She called us heaven’s mistakes.
She hated the blacks. She called them porch monkeys.
She hated the middle easterners. She called them camel jockeys.
She hated the eastern Europeans. She called them dumb dumbs.
She hated just about everyone who differed from herself.
Everyone felt uncomfortable
when Granny began to foam
at the mouth.

But still, there was something special
about staying overnight with Granny.
And all her grandkids would fight
over the privilege of a pull out couch.
I don’t remember ever winning
that fight. Afterall,
I was one of heaven’s mistakes.
She preferred the little girls
who she could wine and dine
with donuts and cake.

After Granny died, I took the fewest things of anyone.
The elephant cup I drank 7-UP from.
The inauguration invitations
from the Nixon administration;
Nobody wanted those,
for several reasons, I supposed.
And the three Aunt Jemima glass bottles.
They seemed to represent Granny the best—
for a hardened exterior of bigotry
and an amber interior of sweetness.
Of course,
getting past the crusted on cap
was always the hardest part
with Granny,
whose last words on Earth
were these:

“The guys are coming over.
They’re bringing their guns.
They have lots of bullets.
And they’re going to fill
her fat lard ass with lead.”

narrative poem written on 10-09-2010 by: on mattkane.com
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