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Lauren Reynolds
Gramma Does Dancing

Graphic by Denise Bobinski

Gramma dances
in on a wind
of dogwood pollen
and ash.
Breeze between
her cells,
she flutters
— in and out.
and screaming
at the sky
— all at once.

Gramma wants
to be my poem.
Gramma wants to be
— strong and stable,
unbroken with the passing

Gramma does not want
to be a wooden box,
hollow and without holes.
Gramma is flawed
— gruff, with skin like rice paper.
Sometimes gramma is gentle,
but doesn’t suffer fools.

Gramma helps
the garden grow,
finding comfort
with the roses
& the earth.
There’s so much more
to be,
than alive.
Gramma knew that.

But in my dream
I am dancing,
pulling faces
from the crowd.
I twirl each body around
by the hand,
then stop
and hold her close.
She likes to transform
empty bodies
into her own.
All of us,
becoming her.

Mom cried
when they took her
outside without a blanket.
All the baggage leaks
from the remains
— plummeting in
sides turned out.
Smell to make you retch.
Death is not
a pretty thing.
No, it is not
But death is not

Gramma is busy
dancing on the breeze
in the park.
Gramma is sailing
to Alaska.
Gramma is lying in her bed
— comforting the roses.
She tells them, “this,
this is only the beginning.”