From Maine to New York
I once read in a poem that the heart rests
My suitcase holds three books, a nightgown
and clothes for six days.
It takes five and a half hours to drive to Harlem.
My grandmother sleeps until 11. I leave
Portland at 9.
We have dinner at our favorite restaurant
on LaSalle Street. The waitress is new.
She can’t recognize us.
I re-explain the specials to my grandmother who loudly
complains about the noise.
We share a fig salad. I begin to tell her about Eric,
but she doesn’t look up.
I hand her a piece of bread. Zer gut. Our
pasta arrives. We eat and pay.
I carry her walker up the five steps to the street, we make
our way home.
The corner deli on 123rd is under new ownership: Welcome
to the Bahamas.
Praise the Lord Dental has closed.
We watch Jeopardy and play Scrabble.
It isn’t until she goes to bed that I remember that my heart is
that I cannot feel it rest.
“From Maine to New York” first appeared in SOFTBLOW (Sept. 2012).