The Hours of Myself and Your Memory
For my grandmother
With him gone all day at work,
and your things everywhere,
in the new apartment I am more
alone than I have been in years.
Your quilt over the back of your couch,
your embroidered cloths in the kitchen,
your linens, your jewelry, your broom.
Your dustpan even.
I hung one of grandpa’s photos
of you in the entryway. There you are!
Trim, in black, a fish in one hand,
your face straight, unreadable, queer.
In another room, you are a just a girl
with braids on her head, nursing
a badger with a bowl of milk,
the chickens scattered around.
Outside there is music and traffic.
On hot days we went to the ferry docks.
You talked of everyone but yourself
and when I grew up, you seemed old.
We always think we will have time,
of course I didn’t get enough. I got your things.
Alone in the apartment, I sweep
the floors, prepare salad dressings,
wait for the new loneliness to break in,
to fit me like your well worn boots.