the story went as though
she'd always known the sea
and trusted in its depth
to mellow any ill, caress her
open lovingkind as in a dream.
and dream she would upon the waves,
having settled into floating reverie.
she'd close her eyes and inhale being
there among herself caressing only
ocean, only breath, all sunlit space
to draw her earthly trials gently out.
softened beachside noise would fade
and let alone her ears to hear
the water oneness dipping clear
and deeper in the troughs, for distance
from the stranded holidays,
the beachy noise of seaside frills
and bear her boyancy to rest
in lilting motion, peaceful cresting sleep
atop an intercontinental,
earthsize water bed.
her trust profoundly spanned
the trans-atlantic rift
and any rift to set apart her undulating
ancient ocean mastery. moon
and sun were kneading vastly where
her snores were lost in starfish whispers balancing
the tidal volume set
to always fill and keep afloat,
or otherwise to wake in
sputters and a salty throat.
her body settles into swinging comfort
napping over waves so deep the shore recedes...
... what bright, kind, clarity cascaded in your dreams?
what heart you had, embracing open quiddity,
never sinking nowness breath alert in lucid sleep
and water surface mystic skyward shallow course?
to merfolk gazing up in wonderment
you limply crossed their bouncing sky,
just another flight of fancy in a world of mystery?
did you dream you were a whalesong
sphering out to carry sadness sonorously? did you
school the many impulse-thoughts to clump and flee
the jaws of time? did you bask in light
and find a shining womb of self
to nurture once again and labor out anew?
did gravity make sense to you?
i float sometimes and live that question true.
sleeping far you drifted out and out and in and out of view
and whistles drowned in gathered drama fear
'my grandma! my grandma!'
screamed my cousin at the lifeguard
sweating ******* and leaping over stroke to spash
into your side a breathless shouting mess for you to calm
and ask 'what's wrong?' and angle slowly back to shore
in fits of giggles, bubble laughter at commotion's reach.
they blink in crowds, standing herdlike on the beach.
and now you swim your last,
another summer day.
like any other i awoke
and fed you eggs, so soft
(at first it wrinkled my nose),
but taste is strange, and slimy works
just fine sometimes,
like in the absence of teeth.
she never liked her dentures,
(she said she couldn't taste her food)
and gummed her frozen dinner meals with a smile,
like it was the greatest thing in the world.
(in fact she'd often say, 'that was the best meal i had ever had',
and with a force that made me happy to suspend my doubt)
and who am i, judging
that which you select? your pills,
your diapers and your vote,
your shows, your nursery rhymes,
your crown manipulation,
i use abjection well,
as something not unlike a whetstone for denial.
performing daily rituals i abhor
i retrain and edit, revising social eyes:
dilapidated fictions, safer norms
and mores tailored to a loan
with interest from the self.
she didn't call herself a 'nudist,'
though she lived beyond the fence
living **** for decades saying
'i'll never leave, i love my home.'
we played dominoes 'til noon
'another kind of indoor game, one on a side'
her interpretation of my being there
changed soon, like my aversion
for the liquid yoke she buttered with a spoon.
our neighbors loved her and i,
and to meander down our path,
lay their towels and sit
like all there was to do was visit.
she hobbles from her plants back to the sink,
and filling the cat dish, stands
century-old arms akimbo
in the doorway, with a sigh to wake the sun.
being of caretaking was never so fun.
holding hands i help her over roots,
around the rocky sections, through
the easy path and level now
she hobbles sure, the cane a decoration
for her pride at being old and young
at heart and quick at stories overtold
in grooves to satisfy the sense of time.
greetings shower us with beaming smiles,
inching to the sandy edge. denuding,
joining everyone, we stand engulfed
in air. modern digambar to don
a vaster cloth of letting be.
skinny dipping grandma, and me.
the water slips around
her fraglile skin, human driftwood
knotted with a smile.
a grand mother slipping through akashic cracks
to undiscover friends their seeing core.
they wonder at the shore
of hoary plight
and wonder on, once we're gone.