Grandma hugs me while standing
in the dim light of her kitchen after steak
and strawberry pie. She sears the meat
medium rare and mounds whipped cream
on the pie every time I spend the night.
Then she hugs me for a very long time.
Her heavy breathing makes her breasts heave
against my cheek. Grandpa is in the living room
lying on the couch in Jockey shorts watching TV –
the Rams or the Lakers or the news, something
other than Grandma hugging me for minutes on end.
Her old-lady perfume makes it difficult
to resist the urge to wriggle away
or let my hands hang limp. I don’t remember
if anything else happens, I just know
I keep my arms wrapped around her waist,
confused by her heavy breaths and trying
to figure things out.
Shadow Road Quarterly - Spring 2013