Milk Delivery

There used to be simpler times  
When money was tight  
But we knew what end was up  
Milk was delivered to the side door  
Quart sized bottles still cold  
Sitting in a plastic crate  
I didnít drink milk then  
Mostly because I was told that I had to  
Even then I rebelled  
Even then my fire red hair spoke of my determination  

When the milk was no longer delivered †
I was sent to the corner store  
Now that was something I could do  
Get dolled up to walk the six blocks for milk and cigarettes  
I never left the house without my face, never  
And I didnít smoke either  
Those were herís  
Just like the milk always was  
Probably why I wouldnít drink it  

Many years later her mother passed away  
I didnít really know her much  
She moved when I was five  
Phoenix and a lavish lifestyle were her destination  
She didnít acknowledge grandkids  
When I was twenty- one, I sold my car, bought a one-way ticket and moved there  
I became her younger friend †
Much younger friend  
We partied, we had fun  
She always told me to be myself and nobody else  
And she drank milk at every meal and smoked cigarettes just like my mother †
I still refused both  

Grandmother became ill and I moved her back home  
Back to the hell I tried to escape  
I was resentful for many reasons  
Mostly because her cigarettes became her downfall  
It didnít have to be that way  
I developed a fondness for the woman who refused to acknowledge lineage  
We shared poetry  
A discovery that made moving home more palatable  
We spent many days writing and talking as she drank milk and smoked  
Always reminding me of my mother and the younger days  
When money was tight  
But times were simpler and I knew what end was up †

Grandmotherís wake was dismal  
A few guests  
Mostly people I didnít know  
I arrived, face fully made up  
Angry and resentful with my wild fire hair on full display  
My mother was appalled  
Grandmother would have been happy  
I know she was smiling  
As a final salute, I had sex with a nameless man in the coat room †
When I stepped out for a breather  

A few months later I received a package  
Grandmotherís poetry in a peach floral folder  
It was sent to me by my mother  
She stopped talking to me after the wake  
Caught me adjusting my dress in the coat room  
I shoulda thought sheíd need a smoke break  
So, I sat down at the kitchen table †
And did the only thing that made sense  
I poured myself a glass of milk †
Saluted the woman who always encouraged me to be me  
And thanked God that I just started having the milk delivered again  

Written by Her
Author's Note
Thinking about my grandmotherÖ
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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