Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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Mother liked to nap
so I stayed quiet with Grandpa behind the curtain. It was like a little house
in there, with his bed
and all the pillows, even a table and chair. Grandma Hattie worked
on the other side of the curtain.
The doorbell rang and she answered it and I heard shuffling
and talking and I wanted
to look. Grandpa said No, she was talking to people to make them feel better.
I sat on his bed
while he read the paper, pushing his glasses up on his nose
and making sucking sounds
through his teeth. Every once in a while he patted my head,
a little surprised to see it was me.
Lunchtime, Grandma Hattie pulled back the curtain
with two magic wands
and disappeared into the kitchen that fit one person at a time.
She made Grandpa red soup
with a circle of sour cream on top. She made Mother a sandwich
with a toothpick holding it together
which was too much food. And for me a hard-boiled egg
with raisin eyes
and carrot curl hair and a ruffled lettuce skirt. That egg
looked like it wanted to dance.
After lunch Grandma Hattie and I walked to the bakery
where I got a cookie
with a thumbprint of jam in the middle. The air 
is good for you, she said,
pinching my cheeks to get the roses back.




Wendy Mnookin’s most recent book of poetry is The Moon Makes Its Own Plea. Wendy and her husband live in Newton, Massachusetts, where they raised their three children. Now they’re enjoying three young grandchildren.

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