The Voicemail My Grandma Left Her Neighbor the Day She Died

Friday, July 2, 2021

do you want to hear it? / a swift yes from me / I was proud my voice didn’t crack / a sharp no from my father / her neighbor hit the play button anyway / probably because looking into the red of our corneas stung his own eyes / her voicemail filled the open living room / she had stumbled on icy ground / and sought hands to lift her / from the grasp of wicked ground / unforgiving in the bones it could crack / I pictured her cheeks red / on her way out that morning / and my insides caught fire / winter’s dial tone still rings through her street / the phone in my hand heavy each February 13 / spring’s laugh was buried by the static of snow / in other timelines / I would wake up early / a voice would shake my core / with yelps to visit my grandma / I would catch her on her way out to an early lunch / and tuck my arm under her arm / she would slide into her car and start the engine / waving / with cheer in her hazel eyes / as she backed out of the driveway

This piece was published by Sledgehammer Lit.

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