PREPARING THE CHILDREN FOR GRANDMA'S VISIT
by John Grey
Don't bring up the past with
grandma. Admire, with her, those little-girl black and whites in the photo
album, but, when it comes to her youth's prime, bite your tongue . . . just not
as hard and deep as her teeth plunged into jugulars.
Don't ask of her prowess
an axe, or predilection for employing skulls as paperweights. Those cookies she
rustled up are safe. It's many a year since she baked anything in human blood.
Treat her as the little old
she is, and not as the monster the newspapers painted. Yes, you can query as to
how life is in the assisted-living facility. But, no mention, please, of that
home for the criminally insane.
Just be attentive, behave,
kiss her wrinkled cheek as she leaves. And keep in mind, even if she's
accompanied by grandpa, she's still your only living grandparent.
is an Australian poet, U.S. resident. Recently published in That, Dalhousie Review, and North Dakota
Quarterly with work upcoming in Qwerty,
Chronogram, and failbetter.
Terry Butler lives in the country, near a small town
south of San Jose, CA called Hollister. He used to write steadily, publishing both in print
and online as Terence Butler, but after some health issues, the energy needed to write
seemed to dissipate somewhat. He has been a professional photographer and a
painter/collage-assemblage maker for most of his working life, so painting and
photo art have taken the place of genre fiction as an outlet. Recently the
story “Fire Man” appeared all as a piece in his mind so he simply wrote it
down. He sent it to Cindy, and in the ensuing back and forth. They somehow
discussed using some of his visual art, too. Cindy is simply the best, and a real stalwart
little world. She has a big heart and a deep
love for animals, too!