brook house 3

By Kevin Ridgeway

grandma’s mind was fading
just as mine was growing
at seven-thirty in the morning
on most school days in the eighth
grade I would venture off
to the local greasy spoon
for breakfast, carrying my
paperbacks with me

only to return home at eight-thirty
in the morning, announcing that
the school day was over

in her senility she believed me,
and I would make nachos,
watch old silent movies,
listen to Al Jolson and
read old movie fan magazines
from the 1930s
the platinum blondes
of the ladies
blinding me of the
truth of my pitiable
little existence when
I was thirteen years old
and actively masturbating
my brains out

she would boil her coins,
talk to my dead
grandfather
play solitaire
and drink her own
perfume by mistake

we would share a ten o’clock
cup of coffee, her and I
after I had fed my bad report
card to the toilet, both of
us cheering on our own
insane victories

Originally Appeared in East Jasmine Review

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