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Gramma's House This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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In Gramma's house
The old piano sits
Rootedto the floor by that same wall
Its polished mahogany mass
Singing the samebrilliant brown shine
As when my auntie twinkled

"TheEntertainer" across its keys.
There are also mountains
Of movies inthat house
On a sea of shelves
Dusty recordings of "Speed Racer"were my uncles' favorites to watch
After school back in the day
And rerunsof "The Simpsons" are there now for Kenneth and me
When nothing's onthe digital cable.
If we get hungry in Gramma's house
There's the old Searsand Roebuck icebox (my Grampa calls it)
In the kitchen
My brother and Ifeast on the left-over collard greens, cornbread,mac-n-cheese
Homemade by my good ol' Gramma;
Tastes the same
As theleftovers my mom and her siblings feasted on
When they were hungry long ago intheir momma's house
Their dad got them in the habit of
Drowning theirplates with the Louisiana Tabasco
And so too my Grampa nursed his six granchillen on the hot sauce bottle
In Gramma's House.
In Gramma'sHouse, in her living room
If you look outside the sliding doors
Through thelong, cloth blinds of the 1960s
You can see the old sun-bleached swing set (Itused to be royal blue)

Hiding in the overgrown grass
Not too long agothe backyard was alive with the ecstatic screams
Of cousins cutting the airand thuds of bodies
Hitting the ground with repeated attempts to launchourselves and
Fly forward over the brick wall.
There are no children aroundto swing anymore
And since, the swing set has grown old and rusted andthe poles only creak now
With painful arthritis under the weight of a15-year-old.
At 15 in Gramma's house
When night touches its peelingsea-green paint and waves of stars
Crash against the 60-plus-yearold-design
I lie in a very old bed
Against the very headboard my mother layagainst
And her younger sister after that,
And I stare at the same spot onthe ceiling they might have stared at
I think of how on Sunday
Afterpraising the Lord for the 40th year at Second Baptist
We'll all (my brotherand me, my mom and her sister and brothers, their parents, in-laws, and friendsof family)
Manage to fit around the dinner table or watch old movies
Playon the old piano, talk of getting rid of the old swing set
And eat freshGramma-made collard greens drowned in hot sauce
Each family member bragging ofold memories and new stories
Out of timeless tradition, there
InGramma's house.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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