Grandma’s Arms


As I look back

And view

The 1963-RCA-wide-screen-color-t.v.

It flickers on.

Before me lie

Cousins, brothers, sisters

Splayed on low ply carpet

Fidgety chins drilling holes into their fists,

Eyes wide

Elbow to elbow

“Hey! Scoot over! I can’t see! Grandma!?”

Her voice

A scratched phonograph record

I continue to dance to.

“Now, now you kids get along,”

She soothed,

And we did.

I change the channel

Grandma’s toast

Waiting in the warming oven

Golden edged butter rays

Radiating like mini-suns.

I watch them melt and disappear.

“It’s ready!”

I hear my child-voice cheer.

Commercial time

Cousin Davey giving a testimonial

“Round steak and Grandma-Gravy on top of white bread taste better than Sizzler’s any day.”

Back to our program

Bernice kneeling in a stunted strawberry patch

Sturdy hands grasping an unfortunate dandelion.

“This hard pan,” she mutters

As her harrow-hand cuts rows

Into the brick

That was her stretch of land.

I wonder what’s on Channel Three?

Children lie on either sofa

A-bed for the night,

Watching her,


That RCA-wide-screen-color-t.v.

Johnny Carson’s handsome face

Flirting through the glass,

Her head tossed back in laughter

Course-grey hair bouncing

And catching the dim light.

We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin.

“Yahtzee!” thrice she shrieks.

Aunts, uncles, mothers and fathers chuckle

As  kids mumble, “I wanted to win.”

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Grandma’s arms

Kneading pie dough or pulling fabric

As she bent over the antique Singer sewing machine

Making secret gifts we all knew about.

Were draped velvet

For small hands to brush.

Each one of us

Would pet

The softness of she

As tender whispers called in our minds,

“Those arms are just for me.”























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