Send Off Song

Grandma’s always got a “helpful remark.”

She once told Sarah that she finally looked like a girl,

            and it only took her twelve years.

But I suppose this is her love language,

            although it may not translate correctly very often.


She just got out of the hospital.

Her face, her legs, and her muffin top all puffier than before.

As she skis across the kitchen tile,

     her swollen flesh,

squeezed into her once comfortable pull-over sweater

sways from side to side,

right along to the rhythm of her creaking bones

       and the rattles of her walker.


I think that is the music that announces death,

         one’s own outro number to send them off.

Each song is unique, and this is hers.

The shuffle of her slippers against the carpet mixed with

        the clicks of her teeth (that apparently no longer stay glued in)

as she pushes her mouth closed to force them deep into her gums.

Her Kohl’s pants rub together during her

        snail speed strides throughout the house and

       swish like the arms of a windbreaker jacket.


She makes her way around,

      never quite knowing when her finale will come,

     perhaps it will come in the backyard.

She loves to sit out there and tap her bare feet on the red bricks

with her red toenails to match. Always red,

           that isn’t negotiable.



This poem is about: 
My family


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