for PA past or future
A Conversation with Great-Grandma
I was not much more than 7. I’d sit on her bed,
she in her chair. She’d tell me stories of when …
. . . when the cow died, she said,
and then, mid-sentence, she’d pinch another
grey whisker between her thumb and index
finger, which she grew longer than her
other fingernails just for this pincer-purpose,
specifically for tugging at her chin whiskers
(which she said inexplicably grew overnight)
and coiled round like curly Christmas ribbon
drawn against the edge of a knife. And
she’d tug with a sharp snap of her wrist,
as if extracting a tooth, and then examine
her fingers for evidence of success, and
since her dim eyes weren’t up to the task,
she’d use an ivory-handled reading glass
she kept tucked next to her chair cushion
to examine the prize (for reading, of course).
She often had to try again. And again. And
I’d watch with intense attention how she’d
depilate herself. I remember thinking that,
her chin is a cactus … and when I grow up,
will I be a cactus and have to grow two
long fingernails to depilare myself, too?
… but he was a vicious pig, she said,
which is why we named him Vic.
NaPoWriMo Day 28: A Room
Her chair was upholstered in
burgundy cloth. Loops of thread
that caught on zippers and snaps.
Mom always warned us off it.
“Don’t sit in that chair,” she’d say.
And her bed was so tall that I
needed a lift to reach its lofty
heights. It was covered in
a white crocheted coverlet
that Grandma made by herself.
“Shoes off if you sit on my bed.”
That’s what Grandma always said.
©️ Misky 2020 It’s Poem a Day month. These are all 1st drafts.