What I remember of my grandmother
before disapproving looks, loud sighs,
murmurs of why can’t you just be, is this:
a warm spring afternoon, Mississippi,
the flowered dogwood trees spilling
their pinks, purples, and whites
on the driveway and across the yard,
and a new tea set, complete
with packets of raspberry, lavender
and rosehip, spread between us
on the porch steps, perfect and whole,
making me feel like something I knew I wasn’t.
What I remember is sipping the tea,
unwilling to admit that I thought
it tasted more like dirt than roses,
trying not to make a mess
of the moment, not to become
a thing to worry over, clean up, fix.
What I remember is wanting
my skinned knees and knobby elbows
to transform into a grown-up body
that knew how to hold a teacup,
pinky out, and not spill a drop,
and like the way it tasted.
Anna Sandy is a poet, MFA student, English instructor, and assistant editor for Five Points. She does all of this at Georgia State University, where she also occasionally naps at her desk.