I saw my grandmother on a billboard
stretched out in a green dress like a snake
out on a walk alone in swamp maples.
Reclining, smoking a cigarette as though
an advertisement for bourbon in a casino,
watching me and never intending to speak.
Not a single wood chip of a word,
would not give up a single playing card of a leaf.
All I could think was, Who was she
to sell anything to, her poles rusty
in that expanse of reeds and skunk cabbage,
with a weasel animal that slipped off into shallows...?
Replaced in a few weeks by an ad for a local optometrist.
That was the one time I saw my grandmother.
Such was the first and last time I saw my grandmother.
From The Water Draft (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019). Copyright © 2019 by Alexandria Peary. Used with permission of the author.