To My Dear, Dead Grandmother

by MK Smyth

Ah, to see your pale peach

face and speckled nanny

arms flapping

in the summer breeze as you stand at your mailbox

in Virginia reading my letter—

we have two

strapping boys now and live in a twig

hut on a savannah

under an umbrella

thorn acacia at the side of the road

in Africa—actually, everyone we know here

lives in a twig hut on a savannah

under an umbrella thorn at the side

of the road—and, we have two

mules and a new den

mud addition my husband

is all house-proud

about that took him all

weekend to finish

but, what with the big

screen TV we brought with us

from America and hung on a wall, well, it’s made

all the difference.

Now, the elders want

their magic back and, well, Grandmother, I was wondering

if you could send some

rain.  And, could tell me

where sadness comes

from?  And, who thought to put a man

on the moon?  And, do we all

really come from stardust?  And, is there an opposite day

in heaven?  Do angels really

have wings?   And, what day

will I die?

There’s a fire in the African sky

tonight that’s sinking

behind a hard-boiled sun and a blood-soaked

man who’s standing


our hut who’s holding a rusted

machete.  He says he only needs

one pinky toe to make the potion

that will get me published.  If you have

any pull up in heaven

in that regard dear Grandmother, would you

please pull away—the wait’s


1. By the way, please tell

my brother, hello and give my Dad

a shout out.  Tell him, I’m praying

the rosary hard

now and sure miss

our little talks.

MK Smyth is passionate about motherhood, art making and minding her words in the wilds in the foothills of Los Angeles.