Gramma Jean hasn't always been a Gramma, hasn't always lived
in this fairy-tale house, like the cottage in Hansel & Gretel.
It is made of stone, the same color
as Gramma's legs in the summertime, and
when it warms up and the house's skin thaws,
it looks more desert than gingerbread.
In this weather, Gramma's out there next to the sidewalk
on that lawn chair that'll leave marks, make her thigh-skin look woven.
There are those morning glories, the ones that shut when you stick
your nose in; there's sun-tea cooking, brown as everything else.
In the summer, in weather like sun-tea and browned
legs, and cracks in the desert's face,
Gramma can forget all about back home--Oklahoma--
about the sun whose heat is akin to opening the oven door,
about her sister Ruth's irises that dance like tall, wild ladies,
that toss and twist so their velvet skirts are inlaid with the red wind.
She can forget that she's in Wisconsin, where summer
only lasts the length of a fairy tale, she can pretend
it's her and Ruth on the back patio, and Ruth is painting
one of her pictures in baked browns, easy as a suntan;
and there's those irises, those flowers that aren't afraid of night,
that don't have to wait for morning to breathe again.
Gramma brought some of those irises back home once,
was sick of the winter-blue glories and their flimsy dresses;
she prayed for peach-goldens and blood-reds, their stalks sturdy
as the beams in houses or the beams of Oklahoma sun.
What she got instead was the Wisconsin version,
pale as anything else that doesn't need to fight for its water.
So Gramma sits next to her house, legs out to the sun like sticks to a fire,
prays that someday she'll find that trail of bread crumbs, follow them back home.
Date of Birth:
December 26, 1977
Union Grove, Wisconsin
Graphic Design student
Eclectica, Primavera, Stirring, Children, Churches, and Daddies, Poems Niederngasse, Wicked Alice, Poetalk, Blind Man's Rainbow , artisan, Copious, etc.
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