No Photo Survives

artist Martin Snipper

 

 

“Lordy, lordy,” my grandmama used to say,

and “over yonder” and “I swunny.” She was

fat and lazy and loving. Called me “Ducky Mo,”

 

played the piano at Sunday school, kept

her false teeth in a glass of water on

the bedside table, which I hated to see.

 

She liked it dark inside with the gas

heater going full blast, the dry heat

like an oven when you stepped

 

in the front door. She bruised easily,

my grandmama. She waddled, had silver

hair down to her waist, which she wore in

 

a bun. Cheap dresses. White cardigans.

In the hospital, the last time I saw her,

she looked terrible and terrified.

 

No photo of her survives.

 

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