Ode to the Grandmother in Me


Illustration by Yoshiko Iwai
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 6:26pm
After Ross Gay
To the grandmother
in me
who rocks in
her chair
her bones
creak and she
still, frets.
Her knitting needles
scepters, pointers
of the getting
and fetching
and hurry
and less salt
The grandmother in me
always asks
when will I bring
my boyfriend home
for thanksgiving
and when I do
she’ll forget to
set a place for
him because
passive aggression
is just her way.
When I am angry
full of exuberant
rage, the grandmother
in me is just
stern, her mouth in
a tight frown,
dentures cooling in
a bedside jar
because those who
“chomp gum so unladylike
are asking for it,”
she says.
She regards
my reluctance to
sunscreen as the
abominable sin
but refuses to
rub my back in
because she
finds my posture