Granny Another

Copyright by Beth Kevles, 1996. This text may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the author.

An ambulance comes nearly every day
to the Home for the Old at the end of my street.
Paramedics with children at home wheel a stretcher
in then out. There's no urgency where there's no sorrow.
Then a faceless car driven by a guilt-ridden son
leaves Granny Another to unpack her new room.

She arrives with grey eyes, a new walker, old shoes,
family photos that sighed in the dusty upstairs.
She arrives with no dowry. The nurses who bathed her
and fed her were thieves. Her house is now barren.
And still she arrives. She peers at her peers.
Here are friends who'll remember the news decades forgotten.

But the first one she greets has lost track of the years
and needs to be fed though she still has her teeth.
The next likes to cha-cha, but just a week later
her heart finally stops. The next is the same.
And the son never visits. Nor do we on the street
ever meet our brief neighbor. We preserve our own bliss.