12.09.2005

The Way the Sky Would Like to Touch the Snow

I open the deep amber door, covered with ancient scratches
and veiled with a calico print.
I am enveloped with the warm love of Grandma’s baking.
The yellow and orange vinyl floor squishes under my feet, and
is as old as the honey colored cabinetry.
She stands at her ancient rolling board, battered from years of use,
and briefly looks up and smiles, which crinkles her eyes.
Her warm voice greets me, before she returns
to measuring, mixing, folding, kneading, stamping, cutting,
and as her magic works,
bread, cinnamon rolls, spritz, pepperkocker, and more
begin to float out of the oven,
all with love and memories baked in.

3, 9, 0, 5, and the light flashes green, signaling to us that
it is safe to open the heavy metal door.
The odor of age and the acrid smell of disinfectant
assault my nose.
Our steps echo on the discolored tile
as we walk past mechanical armchairs
to the table where Grandpa, motionless,
is now parked.
I say hello, but am unsure
if he hears me, and am certain
he no longer knows me.

Grandma sits beside him, takes his lunch tray,
and lovingly feeds him, smiling,
telling him about her day,
how we came to visit,
but his gaze towards the far wall never wavers.
Potatoes, jello, ham, and then, to top it off,
she presents a special treat from home.
He grips her hand tightly, and she squeezes back
fulfilling a promise made 50 years ago.

He is moved to a chair, and she follows to sit with him,
reaching out to him,
the way the sky would like to touch the snow.
My vision clouds as a tear escapes, and I watch,
two lovers, hand in hand, and worlds apart.
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