Dinner at My Grandparents’ House
All they offer is ginger ale to flush the stalk of green
bean casserole that sticks in the
back of my mouth, a constant reminder of how
yellow and pungent old age must be.
After dinner, my parents sit in the kitchen, laughing
at jokes I’m too young to understand, drinking from forbidden bottles.
My brother and I are hands-and-knees in some
purposeless room populated with hat boxes
and old afghans, guiding our toy cars through
the dusty shag carpet. The furniture is stiff –
the cushions are musky thin and the legs
jut like bony elbows in the path of my
The television plays a black-and-white,
static-laced version of the news, but I am
too occupied trying to dissect an echo I
heard from the kitchen. But it means nothing,
I am too young to understand.