I lean back on the greenish blue,
moth-ball scented couch at grandma’s house.
I’m all but consumed by the tiny beanie
I knit out of fabulous silver sparkled yarn.
The invitation from grandma and mom
to take up residence at grandma’s home,
for the evening, has been a welcome relief
from the too-fast work week.
We plant ourselves in perfect symmetry
around the scattered-bone couches.
All three sit in unreliable attention
toward the television set now muted
for its intense lack of interesting programming.
We all three sit consumed by our own priorities.
Mine to complete a preemie beanie cap for a friend,
moms’ to rebuttal incessantly into her mobile
phone’s audacious representation of flashing memes
from its mobile Facebook app,
grandma’s to sit upright chewing the last of her fingernails,
legs crossed in anticipation of a better black and white
telenovela to stream from the screen.
We three sit in resolute silence
save for the outbursts of mobile meme propaganda
mom insists we read. On the fifth outburst,
from a complete resting position,
grandma lunges toward the television set.
Her desperation reminds me of a woman in combat
ready to mangle her enemy.
Her intent is made known when she fiddles
with an old black box on the console.
She lifts up the remote control and brings it to her face
to inspect the buttons without her reading glasses.
The play arrow blinks on the screen and begins to play
a VHS tape that sends us into fits of laughter from times past.
The not yet desert laden faces on us children
are framed in time with our innocent personalities,
punctuated laughter, and barefoot place in the world.
Grandma chews another nail, closes her eyes to preserve
every moment since escaped from her heaving maternal chest.
Someday, not far off from this moment,
I will find myself in direct symmetry to my own children
from the comfort of our home, witnessing a time
we cannot replace, in hopes of salvaging
every smile, laughter, piercing the void weight of the world.
Note: Yesterday in Luke, I read when Jesus told the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” So many times after forgiveness, I get up and go home, but forget to pick up my mat. This poem is about picking up the mat and taking it home.