“Visit Me in Springtime” by Richard Fire

Richard Fire


My grandmother lives in a brick building.
There is snow all around it and on top of it.
She stands in the third story window
looking out of focus and pale turquoise
smears a polyester armor.
Silver metal frames grip the temples
she no longer worships in.
She complains of going blind slowly
and carpal tunnel syndrome;
I suppose from when she typed too much.
A picture of Grandpa
George Jetson out in space,
branded on her memory
beneath translucent blue hair.
Dark streaks of sparrows dive for seed
across a canvas primed in titanium.
She doesn’t feed the birds anymore.
She lets somebody else do that
and she gave her shadow box away.
The one made out of the picture frame
that held her wedding photo.
Her plants slipping into unfamiliar hands
may go to bed with wet feet now.
Strawberry jello cups are rubbery beds
for stale cool whip routine.
Dorothy, wake up.
Her neighbor knocks on the door
and she ignores it.
Touches the window sill for balance
and thinks about pulling the shade.

from Rattle #1, 1995

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