Making Apple Sauce with My Dead Grandmother
I dig her up and plop her down in a wicker chair.
She’s going to make applesauce and I’m going to get drunk.
She’s cutting worms out of the small green apples from the
and I’m opening a bottle. It erects like a tower
in the city of my mouth.
The way she makes applesauce, it has ragged
strips of skin and spreads thickly over toast.
It’s famous; eating it is as close to God as I’m going to get,
but I don’t tell her. There’s a dishtowel wrapped around her head
to keep her jaw from falling slack—
But I don’t tell her that either. I have to stand at the call box
and see what words I can squeeze in. I’m getting worried.
If I dig her up and put her down in the wicker chair
I’d better be ready for the rest of the family
to make a fuss about it. I’d better bring her back right.
The whole house smells of cinnamon and dust.
We don’t speak. She’s piling up the worms, half-alive
in a silver bowl, she’s throwing them back into the ground
right where her body should be.
Copyright © 2014 by Bianca Stone. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on March 14, 2014.