Bygone Days

By Lydia Grills, for my great grandmother.

Cicadas humming, their buzz surrounds me
As she cradles me in her lap
I can’t pay the rent!
He took us ‘round on the sailboat
They walked hand in hand
You must pay the rent!
We read from the Bible
We ate peaches and cream
She gave us candy from her purse
But I can’t pay the rent!
They moved into a home
They stopped going to that place
His keys were taken away
But you must pay the rent!
Smiling they sang “Jesus loves me” on birthdays
He scratched at his chin
But I can’t pay the rent!
He left smiling holding two thumbs up
We cried at the reception
But you must pay the rent!
She smiled because he is with God
She looks at the family photos
Each face with a label
I’ll pay the rent!
She talks only of the past
Her flowers wilt in the hot sun
My hero!
We give her hugs and say farewell
Curses foiled again!
She finishes her one man show
I leap from her lap
Laughing.