Sugar Marie

Author’s Note: The last 9 days have been a blur. The day after learning my Grandma passed away, I wrote this. About the love my grandparents showed each other. I always saw this most clearly in the kitchen, always telling her how they reminded of Lucy and Desi. (except my Grandpa isn’t from Cuba and Grandma wasn’t a redhead.) They argued and made up like Lucy & Desi in I Love Lucy. To me at least.  It was always humorous. I’m pretty sure this piece is a mess, love is the same. A beautiful, giving. receiving, and forgiving mess. Thank you, God for letting me witness how you love us. Oh, the title comes from whenever my grandma dropped something in the kitchen, she would exclaim this. Have I mentioned how much I miss her?

———————————————————

I didn’t expect hyperventilating

hearing God took you back home,

some time last night. sleeping.

Jesus, Jesus, please come sit

beside me, weeping loss

for her, who gave me second mother’s love.

I have since spurted this yolky soul,

watching taste hit my lips, salty bitterness

refilling without my ask.

My head throbs remembering days

I’d come in the kitchen, lean

against the counter or refrigerator,

talking about the mundane of life,

compared to the way you’d prepare

a pot of chili

“Since the weather’s changing,”

you’d say, “getting colder.”

I can’t quite remember

exact wording, but

whenever grandpa came

waltzing through that straight line

kitchen, he’d try sticking his pointer finger

inside the pot. I can still see you:

blue babushka pulling back your short, blonde hair,

a grey sweatshirt with matching sweatpants,

and those squeaky white tennis shoes

standing over the pot, stirring.

Sometimes washing dishes,

a towel draped over your shoulder.

You’d catch him, exasperated:

“Get out of there!”

“Den!”

“It’s just a taste, Marge, relax.”

A smile covering his face.

You always told him, if he could wait

five more minutes and to “go sit down.”

“Okay, dear.” Kissing you on the cheek,

he’d leave to the family room,

Lou Dobbs and him, patient.

Biggest glass, you poured tea

only you could make right,

wedged with lemon.

At this time, I’d be at the table,

as you placed his dish complete

with sour cream and buttered bread,

Rye, set before him.

After he’d finish his second bowl,

you give him the medicine cup

full of colored pills.

Too many for me count,

but you portioned them out

day & night alleviating his ache

even in the midst of your own/

How deep your love

goes, grandpa’s & yours-

small movements of Christ’s love

impressed upon grieved heart

until our eternity is shared.

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