Prior to her final breaths, my grandmother drank a glass of water.
Summer breezes sway by the house.
In the compact room, the old grandmother
lays in bed with her grandchildren
beside her as she asks for a glass of water,
speaking and closing her eyes.
She thinks that her foreboding tears
and the breeze that embraces the roof of the house
were both foretold by the glass of water,
but only known to a grandmother.
The glass cup whispers to the water dispenser.
She stirs in bed and says to her grandchildren,
It’s time to sleep now; but the grandchildren
are watching the water dispenser’s beads of sweat
writhe desperately out of the water dispenser,
the way the breeze must sway by the house.
Sitting up, the old grandmother
takes a gulp of water from the glass cup
on parched lips. Heavy, the glass cup
slips halfway through her hand,
slips into the hand of her grandchild
and her mind full of ultimate memories.
She shivers and says she thinks she
feels tired, and closes her eyes.
It was as if time fell, says the glass cup.
I follow what I must, says the water dispenser.
With heads hanging low, the grandchildren
draw their gaze away. Then the grandchildren
put in a moment with silence like blindness
and hope that the grandmother could see.
But secretly, while the grandmother
busies herself about the afterlife,
the little water droplets hum thirst
from between the water dispenser
into the glass cup
which has now been emptied
into the hands of the grandchildren who
have carefully placed away from her.
Time to touch the rain, says the glass of water.
The grandmother sleeps peacefully
and I question why she never wakes up.
Originally written 3/5/20.
Another one with an epigraph.
Memory of witnessing my grandmother's death as a child.
Elizabeth Bishop "Sestina" emulation.