Rocking Chair

November 3, 2008
When I was five, or maybe three,
afternoon visits to Grandma's house
always smelled of austere delights.
Ice-cold milk, scrambled eggs,
and oreoes, and secret forts
beneath the dining room table,
worn and weathered storybooks,
a whole spectrum of fat crayons.
Never bored, and constantly creating
elementary artwork depicting romance,
adventure, kittens, and occasionally,
there were visits to my Grandmother's mother.

She sat alone in a quiet room,
dark, the windows all shut, alone
in a whining rocking chair, forth
and back and forth and back,
a blue blanket draped across thin legs,
a smile stretched across withered bones.
Always a smile for me, miniscule me,
staring up in inquisitive awe,
at my Grandmother's mother
with her white perm and glasses.
Never found elsewhere, always
forth and back, always a smile,
a soft word, constant as
the ice-cold milk...
until she was gone.

My Grandmother's mother died one day.
My memory has relinquished
whatever details of the day
I may have once known, if any.
She was there one day,
the next, she was not.
The rest is shrouded in fog.
There are no emotions
attached to it. Life would go on,
afternoons at Grandma's house
would remain austere.
The small dark room remained,
remains to this day,
the windows all shut,
the rocking chair whining forth
and back in the breeze, as
empty as silence, as
the memory of a smile.

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