|Oct/Nov 2003 • Poetry|
They said she ran, abandoned her pink and blue
checkered quilt still warm, the crossword puzzle lying
face down on the linoleum floor an "e" short of hibernate.
Her wheelchair stood alone in the lobby,
brake lever digging its silver tongue into the right tire,
the cushion her bottom's quarry—
two moon craters sharing a common ridge.
The nurse said she didn't understand it—
my grandma was reserved and obedient, enjoyed
crochet. She showed me the tiny clay figures she'd made,
all with their arms outstretched and their eyes looking
toward the sky, showed me her room
white walls, white ceiling, white floor,
bed pushed tight into the corner like a slab of marble
swathed in sheets taut as guitar strings.
She showed me her medicine chart, her vital
statistics, and I understood: Grandma was tired
of the paper cup world, living her life fifty milligrams
at a time. So she ran, on legs we all thought were papier mache.
She can't have gotten far. We'll find her!
the nurse assured me.
I hope we never find her.
I hope she gets down to Los Lunas in time
to see the Monarchs drying their wings.