Poetry by Jael
Quietly with Grace
by jael bietsch

I never knew her and she sits around the edges
in pastel cardigans, hard bound
books in her lap. We splashed at her feet, disturbing
her fishes, clouding her pond.
We dripped on her steps, waiting
for towels. Always with her
ankles delicately crossed, something intricate
in her lap. She worked her needle with still hands,
and we played battleship
at the foot of her recliner. I tripped around her
in sorry awkward etiquette. She died
while we were peeling apples days away
and a week before graduation. Spring sunshine danced
in dust sparkles above the table. I watched
Mother press a hand to her mouth and cry
into the phone. I didn't feel
the bite of the knife as I sliced the skin
of my index finger. I locked myself in my bedroom
and cried against the door.
They went back to her without me and returned
to watch me graduate.

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    ©: 1995 Jael Bietsch

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    March 8, 2000