Windmill


Dear Grandma, I have your postcard
that I never sent. It has columbines on it,
along with my nervous script, and
a gingerbread house stamp on the upper right corner,
all ready to go, just like you were.

Last Tuesday and two months till my birthday,
in a standard hospital bed:
your eleven siblings, two husbands and parents
were able to say your name without it falling silently into eternity--
in that better place everyone has reminded me you are now in,
as though I had forgotten you were gone.

You monument of historic means, lasting over a century.

I hope the cream silk-lined chamber you were placed in
will deter the turpentine temperament of Grandpa John.
The toxicity of some can outlive death
but is branded by a surname for life.
His loathing blood soaked into the roots of that, our family tree,
a way of life now in nearly every branch,
including mine.

The columbine postcard with Colorado written along the edge
sits next to the snapshot you sent me of you and I;
no older than two, I'm looking at you, you looking at me,
your height, now a token I bare proudly and free of hate.

You rest now as gently as you lived,
a windmill painted in Dutch blue.

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