My grandmother dreams of the ocean
and chooses to waste her time
with clementine cut flowers and crossword puzzles,
brow thin and furrowed.
My grandmother keeps a telescope by the glass door,
but the trees are growing into her view of the water
and the bird feeder needs refilling – squirrels again.
My grandmother fills up cavities with sugar water
My grandmother laughs like the moon
and the Mississippi River. M I double S I double S I double P I,
she taught me to spell and read:
words are genetic.
She sells seashells by the seashore
Toy boat toy boat toy boat
When we drive to the zoo I help her read the street signs
And we always take the same path.
There’s a plate with my name on it
below the dancing feet of a painted pony,
bears and otters and elephants, oh my.
Aquarium, aquarium, sandpipers sing
to the snakes.
To the eagles, now, then across the bridge,
Around the corral on the back of a soulful nag
We still hold hands when we cross parking lots.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.