10-Line Tuesday

August 12, 2014

checkers

When she swallowed her final, decisive pills, did my grandmother know
I would still be talking about our standoff in the kitchen 37 years later?
Did she think I'd remember the particular way she played the piano,
or the dollhouse she built, or the smell of her Cadillac, or the turquoise water
of the pool she guided me through during my first attempts at floating?

It is impossible to fathom that clutch of capsules on her tongue, and the motive
that closed her throat around them. That story isn't made for quoting.
Instead, there is the hatchling yellow of her bathroom. The sleeve
of cellophane around her caramels. The squeak of her garage gates. The sun
like a wink on her face. Her perfume. All those games of checkers she let me win.