September - October, 1991

My grandmother has a way about her
that's lighter than any one of the heavy feathers
hidden in the pillowcase headrest
of dreams.
They become clearer
under the thick rich head of white twine:
scaffolds to wicker baskets filled with picnic lunches
in the forests of Germany.

She offers growing words to the denizens
of her every room -- flower footsoldiers
guarding her barricade sills
and trenched balcony:
Crouched azaleas and african violets
awaiting in anticipation of the entry of eyes
of children; "Look!
in the corner apartment."

The cactus would perch its head towards the pane
as the hanging fern would reach out to hold her
in warm green arms
cradling the love in deep roots.
She would prune and preen, and
they would croon as infants after their adoption.

And I remember leaving her -- somewhere after
the dumplings and pickled herring --
I'd wave into the kitchen window;

She'd be there, behind the smear
of mingling raindrops
and fall leaves,
her among their planted roots.