Telling My Grandmother About This Life

by Kathleen Hogan

You are dust and roses.
I am a teller of tales.
Your browned lace crumbles
beneath my arms as I bring you
into the ring of my trees.
How should I give you this story,
with syrup or knife?

Your bones break,
with my every word
as I speak of the abandoned,
of sickness, of hatred,
and in the silences
tears wash into the Earth.

I see bird’s wings
in your eyes,
the longing for clouds.
We sweep across fields,
where once we swallowed colors,
now smothered by the dead.

I say, “We do not know the truth.”
You answer, “Who ever has?”

Footnote: Written in February, 2021
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