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Oma and Opa (#3)
I stopped everything
 To go watch my grandmother die

I took the A train uptown to 207th St
 And walked up the street where the black squirrels ran

Three children were sledding down the snow covered hill
 In laundry baskets, sleds, and cookie sheets

How could someone be so depressed and sad
 When children play just outside?

I found my grandmother laying in the chair
 Still and motionless
 Not knowing I was there
I bent down
 And held her hand
 It was cold and veiny, filled with spots from the liver
She awoke to my warm touch and smile

Her grey hair had not been washed in days
Her whiskers on her cheek unclipped
Her leg swollen from where the cancer was carved away
Her depression making her hunch-back and stiff

Her wrinkles competing with her fragile structure
Her blue eyes still as powerful as my own
Her tears salty to the glance
Her heart still beating from the love

I delivered my words
As much as I could
Of hope and strength

Awards and certificates line the walls
 Old portriats and photographs too
My artwork from when I was little
 And articles about my grandfather's favorite Democrats

The door knobs still have crystal on them
The door frames still arched
The couch still covered in plastic
The candy dish still on the round coffee table

My grandparents wearing their old clothes
From so many years ago
I donŐt even know what is hip
In or out

The bed was unmade
Easier access perhaps
The dishes were clean
There was an overabundance of food from Meals-On-Wheels

She can no longer walk
Or goto the toilet alone
No more cookies for me
No more smiles on her face

She can no longer breathe sunny air
Afraid to go to doctors
Taking numerous pills a day, an hour
She sits and cries

All she can say
Is that God is punishing her
And never forget about her Five sisters and Mother
Murdered my the Nazis
As she escaped
And ran away
From Lithuania

As the sun came down today
They will not let me take the subway home
We order a car service
Arriving on time

They pack me full of different goodies
Fruit and Milk mainly
They have so much they can not finish
Instead of rotting, they send it with me

Sometimes, as I see those pears rot in their kitchen
I make direct associations, and see them

Oma still lives
What do I do now?

© 2000 David Greg Harth @ 83PTW NYC @ 296E NYC