a poem a day for a year #68

by Amy Turn Sharp


my granny is a time traveler
she can close her eyes and tell me stories of
bread that was basically free
food that was all organic
wars and wars and wars
pinafores
bobs
depression
prohibition
how she boarded the trolley coach
near her old apartment when she was Rosie during the war
and watched the world go by
on her way to the Curtiss-Wright airplane factory
on her way to
we can do it!

she always whispers that Vanna White dresses like a prostitute
as she stares at Wheel of Fortune on her massive wooden box television
she turns the volume up louder and the sound of the spinning wheel drowns out our talks

how can things be so different
now
for her
how can she make sense of so much change
right before her eyes


I try and imagine how I grew up in the age of Atari Pong
how I grew up with a little ball bouncing back and forth and it was a magical game
and now we can strap electrodes on our bodies and feel the world rock
and go inside the machine
eat the matrix
make love to each other with machines

she refuses to pay eight dollars for the strawberries at the market
they are warm from the sun
they would supply her body with energy
with pesticide free life
but she waves it all away
clutches her coin purse
turns to me and tells me stories
about her own strawberry vines
stops us right in the midway of the farmer's market
everyone walks around us
they smile like they will never be old like her
she makes me stop and listen to the place
she is bent over like a broken doll
as she tells me in nearly a whisper
where
her secret
free strawberries used to live
like it was a dare
a verbal map
like she knew she couldn't climb there anymore
walk the hilly ridge past the creek
past the church
past the coal slack pile

but I could
I could