Historic Preservation VI

I saw my grandmother transform, like a stone
monument I saw my grandmother, always
composed and hardened in her emotions,
her role toward me as consoler. Loving, yes,
and joyful, but never sorrowful or crying. She
never smiles in photographs, at least not fully.
I remember her curled knuckles around my shoulders
after a scratched knee, or the homesickness of staying
overnight, we stayed up and played card games, singing
1970s pop songs as we traded colorful cards.
But in that moment at the nursing home beside
Great Grandpa Tony, who, struggling to breathe,
lay sideways holding my grandmother’s hand,
she began to melt, and boil over in a quiver.
I saw water pour from stone, as Papa fell
from her quivering lips. Papa, I love you.

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