3-9 Years

By Laura Hoffman


3-9 Years

through eyes

of milky-blue


my grandmother:

the painter

sought reality

which had become

a fish wriggling

with the life

it had brought up

from the sea

but hers

was leaking

the soft

indulgent woman

who told me

to crumple

my failed


in my tiny fists,

stomp on them,

and open

them again

the Irish riveter

who I resemble

became racist



when she entered

the ward

for dementia

and we left her

fortifying ourselves

against her

from behind

the coded door

it is ten years

past her death

and I have yet

to shed a tear

in mourning

I think

I owe her that


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