Every Little Lie
My grandmother smoked Sweet Afton and
Wore whiskers like a walrus. She died
Sitting up, a wedding album open in her lap.
She called me "Sonny".
Each morning I sat quietly upon her bed
Watching her dress. Her body was
Smooth and round as a globe.
I often curled up there, pushing my sins
Into her staying hand, the world shrinking
To accommodate my first crop of gratitude,
Carefully harvested almost without knowing.
I called her "Anna Mae".
Each night she knelt by my bedside,
Blowing wild stories into my ear.
Every little lie – a slate in the
Roof of memory. Every word, scouting ahead,
Clearing a path through the long grass.
Then the terrible moving away,
Then an ever shortening wedge of light,
Then the squeak and roar of darkness.