A novel in verse … and the writing thereof
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Home Ground

We sat together

     there at the kitchen table, she with

her straight brown hair (like mine; just like mine

     when I was young)

sweeping the page where she took notes, and talked of war.

Ten minutes later, she stood up. “You knew half of that,”

     I said, “already.” The porch door swung open, and

cold air swirled around our ankles. “There’s your mother.

Why does she open both doors at once like that?

Carley, for pete’s sake, shut that door!

     You’re freezing us hard as barnacles.”

“I know,” said Noreen. “But Mrs. Barton—“

A shout reached us, but no words; another bang;

               more cold air.

“I’ll close it, Grimmy.” And she had, before I’d initiated

     stage one of rising. (Why would my granddaughter take

     more care of me than my daughter? Who knows.)

“Thanks, kitten. So why ask,

     if you already know?”

Carley’s figure in pantomime

     hung up her barn jacket on the back porch,

     then bent and all but disappeared;

     she’d be taking off her boots.

“Mrs. Barton said we had to ask every question.

     Otherwise, we’re not really interviewing.” She rolled her eyes.

I rolled mine. “And to think I thought

people asked questions to

     learn something. Silly me.”

She giggled. “Silly you.”

But—didn’t she want to know

     what happened next?

“No thanks; I

     only need a page. Thanks, Grandma!”

“Any time,” I said to her retreating back. “No problem. Just

               keep it short.”

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