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.