Mittens we have lost
Grandma always changed
with her back toward me.
Now, she folds into her chair bare-chested,
innocent as clover. I pull her dress over
hair white as weeds, eyes blind as ebony.
Next week grandmother turns ninety-eight.
This is the first year of my life she won’t
remember our birthday is the same.
I’m not surprised, she’s near a century.
Light showers the open bloom of our book
I sit with my head on her arm;
I caress her skin
like a worn map of her secrets.
“Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!”
The hair on her chin, kitten-white whiskers.
Her voice scratchy like their strawberry tongues.
“Mother Dear, see here, see here,
we have lost our mittens.”
Her voice damp like the kiss of those kittens.
All words from the lost world sailed toward me
on the ship of her low tremulous voice.
Read it to me again. I’ve never heard this one.
we have lost our mittens