That Old House

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Through the front door, white tin with a black handle
Inside, orange carpet set off by avocado chairs and a mountain lion painting in acrylics
Great-grandpa sits on the chair to the right
He watches lady-bugs crawl over the blinded windows in spring
Great-grandma is on the left always smiling with paints ready
The big-girl ones that she uses on our birthday post-cards and such
She lets me paint
I want to paint like her
Blue, violet, apple red
Smeared over the paper
Goat-hair brushes and uneven boarders leaking onto the metal folding TV tray
“I’m done, Grandma”
Into the kitchen
Crystal bowl of pastel mints.
Three colors, faded and sad-sweet
Here is the plate of packaged cakes
Water is boiling on the stove
The well-water smell and the sound of oil derricks
Grandma gave me makeup for Christmas
Makeup and an afghan
I love her afghans
I go into her bedroom
Everything is neat, neat and full of memory
My tummy feels the quiet
Here’s the full-length mirror
And blue eye shadow
Yes, blue like my eyes
Does it go along my eyebrows and how far over on the sides?
Here is the blush
A circle on the “apples” of my cheeks
Red lipstick
It’s smeary and my hand not steady
Lips are more harder than they look
All done
There’s Karin
Clown face in the honest mirror
She is not as pretty as she wanted to be
This is not Karin
This is just a rag doll with silly makeup and chicken legs
But Great-grandma says she loves her
And Great-grandpa, too
When the mirror decides it will be nice
She’ll try lipstick again,
But only when she’s older
“Grandma, can I paint again?”





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ginger. said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm
this remindes me alot of my great grandma and i, how me and her are so much alike, but yet softof different. oh and she makes me afghans also :)
 
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