Recalling Grandma Paula

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I recall my grandmother’s back yard and the roses
in her front yard.

My grandfather walks a dog in the earliest morning.
My grandmother takes baths.

Even then her back ached;
now it is something
worse – unbearable maybe.
Although she bears it.

I can remember the wine glasses
hung upside down
the colored glass elephants
and angels
on ledges and shelves.

There is a fireplace
a deck for family dinners
a basketball hoop in the driveway
and a room where I sleep on the floor
with my head under the desk.

Someone says my cousin and I are indistinguishable
between the nose and the chin.
Maybe it is our grandfather’s smile.
I remember the piecrusts pinched up along the edges
and the card games
– Go Fish, Rummy –
golf and baseball on the TV.

I remember the dinners my grandmother made
for the man down the street. He lived
in a dark house. He loved
my grandmother.

My grandmother is not racist
like some grandmothers I have met.

Only the Republicans made her mad
before.

Now they live in a smaller house
which is good
or closer to good.

My grandfather walks a different dog in the earliest morning.
My grandmother takes baths.

There are still roses
in the front yard. Still
cards and pie crusts.

I wish I could remember everything. I wish
that her back never hurt.
I used to think she was invincible.

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