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Oma and Opa (#2)
I never thought
I would have a hunched-back grandmother
She shuffles her feet
Moving slowly from worn-out carpeted room to the next
Still on the same green

My grandfather struggles
Taking care of two
Organizing the week's pills and drugs
Dropping hot coffee from strokes
Not remembering
I get offered fake cream cheese
Its Jalapeno-flavored by mistake

I visit my grandparents
Once or twice a month
I should more
As I watch them die before my eyes
Age into a cold fragile bony lifeless full of love

The smell of bad breath I cant get away from
Because I admit to a certain warmth I have for them
They visited me every day
And I cant commit to each weekend or each month
I cant support and call her an ass and we don't understand

She saw her sisters shot
He never saw his brother in Africa
Years of photographs bring tears and stains

The stained plastic tupperware
stained of chicken-matzoh-ball-soup, lox, and tuna fish
I get fed and care packages to take home to my bachelor pad
They die and I eat
I cant even commit to a god they want

My grandfather cant walk
But never sheds a tear for his strength is what makes him stone
His eyebrows grow like wild bushes and firestorm feeding brush
His eyes after surgery old and aging his cheek permanent with an accent
Thick of Germany
His pacemaker beats
She wets

I don't know when their last bath was
Or if she looks like wonderfully aged Chinese woman I once saw at the New Museum
No more cookies, no recipe, some thin mints and M&Ms
Old, falling apart, deteriorating, bucket of bones cold and white

Their plastic has covered that couch for years
I wonder when they will take it off?
When one dies?
To be more comfortable
To feel the fabric of that couch?
Not the plastic sticking to your arms and legs and thighs?
Is the plastic an insecurity?
We protect the home from which we live, but we never fully live?

Is it their god that makes them cry?
Or makes them strong?
Does he pray for his mother each evening?
Or does he now pray for his wife?
As he once did for me?

Opera singers scream throughout the apartment
Some live, some radio
Some next door
And the green plants flourish
Or die
Never once did I see a bug
Or bullet, only a sword and an award

My grandparents are dying
Before my eyes
I want to hold them
I want to save them
I want to wrap them up in gauze and make them Egyptian art
I want to get the recipe
I want to show them my dead deer, my 9INE, my cats, my fat

My grandfather has held my hand
He has witnessed me in pain
In horror
In the nude
In the realness of the most fake state imaginable

I must have gotten my bright blue eyes
And blonde hair from her
Her blue eyes
As intense as mine
She taught me the language of her god
He taught me the gift of life
Now if I can only find someone to give that gift to
I'd make them happy, if they followed their god

 2000 David Greg Harth @ 296 @ 296