Geography: A Lesson for Granddad

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I. Inheritance: I didn’t know you liked old clothes.
Vintage, I correct Grandma. A clothes bag sits at the
foot of my bed, some hers, some my mom’s. Now, mine.
One of a kind, custom made, silk imported from Japan.
Trying them on and seeing how they fit. You’d probably
remember some of them. Matching belts make their
young silhouettes become my own.


II. Separation: Where is Ohio? We can’t drive there?
Papers changing the name on the title of the car from
yours to Grandma’s, that’s where they’re coming from.
Funny—she never learned to drive, and now will own a
car. At seventy-six, her first car, not even automatic.
Ohio: somewhere around the middle, I say. It’s far.


III. Rebuilding: Only one more and it will be done.
We’re sifting through the boxes in your closet. I didn’t
know you collected quarters. Grandma says you loved
the states. Hawaii—found at the laundromat. We
examine the contents of my coin purse. Grandma insists
on the change machine. Two bills later the map is filled.
She wants it framed, but not all the quarters can lay flat.


IV. Assimilation: Save money so you can come back with me one day.
I’m wearing the clothes my mother wore when my
father was falling in love with her. Grandma is hemming
the dresses she was once measured for, so they fall just
above my knee. I haven’t been to the islands where
these clothes were stitched, where you married my
grandmother, where my mother was born. I’m smoothing
the silk and wondering who is falling in love with me.

Created: Jul 22, 2010

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