A Different Ending

Grandmother’s half-filled tea cup cools

in the family Butsudan,

her enigmatic smile exposing white teeth,

appearing less spectral since the move

from mom’s bedroom where she sat

unobtrusive for a number of years,

her smile unwavering to random offerings

of rice cakes and fruit, quietly listening to

the silent passing of time.

Time mom spent listless in unnamed grief,

lost in the cradle of her mattress, her mood

settling the air like sediment until

grandmother is moved to the family room

where, to the surrounding noise she adds

her smile–the long cast of her unseeing eyes

trace a path to where mom sits,

sketching the ecstatic bloom of flowers.


Talk story

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