by Allison May
I pull at the left and right cabinet, making three of both of us.
She smiles at me, my hair entangled with pink rolls
and I ask her if the curlers might fall out while I sleep
and ruin everything, but she ties a silk wrap around my
hair and kisses my head, telling me everything will be just fine.
Even with her ash-gray hair, tightly coiled like perfectly placed springs,
lavender satin pajamas that make soft swish sounds when she moves,
and her cat-eyed glasses that are fifty years out of style,
I want to be just like her.
I don't curl my blonde hair that I so clearly inherited from my grandma,
because the twists refuse to stay, and
I don't wear glasses, but I found a tin of her old ones and even hidden
away, they still managed to collect dust, and I find myself bitter that
these pieces of plastic outlived her.
I can't make eggs the way she used to,
sunny-side up with crumbled soda crackers.
I can't keep the roses outside growing without June bugs
eating the petals the way acid destroys metal.
Mom asks me if I enjoyed my week with Grandma,
"The best," I tell her. "Can I go every year?"
My finger twirls around a strand of my hair, wishing
again for the curls that have since been washed out,
I twirl my finger, again and again,
a habit I haven't been able to get rid of since.