Ode to Wanda’s Apron

by Dana Trupa


                   —after Carl Phillips



in the kitchen, Wanda straightens her blouse and ties a knot in her apron. 

Today is Sunday. 

    I am ready for my chocolate egg. She walks slowly towards me I see her rouged 

corpse and how they paint her—

  red cheeks, red lips, red blouse. My grandma, the reddest grandma. 

And I, seated on a barstool near the stove.  

    The chocolate egg is wrapped in colorful foil, tucked inside a wing of the icebox. 

She takes a butter knife (the best part) slices through the foil, through the chilled 

marshmallow that surrounds a heart of gold. I am the only one 

     at a magic show

     as she pulls the matching halves apart revealing          the insides. 

I love the replication of the real inside the unreal.


she instructs me, so patiently pulling the corpse of a cooked ham apart. After  

she says: When you’re done, toss the bone in, they’ll lap it up like blood-


The hunger, for her return, when she doesn’t. 

    Some nights, when it’s time to pray, we play crazy 8’s in the parlor: 

queen of hearts, ten of clubs,

      the joker  

guards our pot of soup. The split egg on either side of our plates as if each half 

the yolk of a happier ending.         Widow          Old Maid 

      part silence          part fear 

I stare at her hologram and inhale Chanel No. 5.  

My breathing

      is like

our fingers          touching 

in a giant bowl of soaked navy beans, smooth and round the way fear moves 

      through a body—       slowly, softly

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