• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 04
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Grandmama’s Alway Been

Grandmama’s always been an independent. Keen
on reminding us she raised seven kids on her own
after Grandpa passed, working a job at the same time, too.
So we don’t need to hover. “I’m getting old,” she says,
“not useless.” She’s got a stubborn streak, Grandmama does.
But she’s also losing her mind, forgetting more and more
with each day passing. Like God sitting up in the sky,
a pair of scissors in His hand, taking snips at the thread
of her memory. The snipping’s also made her suspicious.
Like the world’s out to get her. Why you looking at me,
boy? she says to me, eyeing me like I wanna snag
an old lady’s pocketbook. Scoot, she says like she don’t
know I’m her favorite boy. Today, she announces
she’s going to market. Market’s been replaced
by the big box store a long time ago, even before
I was born, so I put my shoes on, my jacket,
too ‘cuz it rained last night, clouds hanging grey
overhead, threatening more. She shoots at me
her side-eye stink-eye, but puts on her head cover
and coat. Grabs her pocketbook. I hang a good
10 to 15 feet back from her so she won’t spot me.
We stop at the corner. Waiting on the bus, I guess?
I got no clue where she thinks she’s going, but I got
my bus card ready. Between us there’s a puddle
of rainwater. I see her reflection in the middle of it
clear as day. She must see me there, too, but I don’t
look away. She does, though. And I know she’s losing
more and more of her memories because she never
passes a puddle without splashing in it. I wanna go grab her


Grandmama’s Alway Been

by the hand like she used to mine when I was little
and together we’d jump in every puddle after a storm.
Help her that way to remember. But here’s the bus coming,

and now it’s too late.