Elegy for My Grandfather

Death bleached his Torch Red Corvette
in my mother’s dreams, the car as white
as her face when she woke at night, wailing
He knows we sold his house. Her voice echoed
through the kitchen and pooled
atop a crumpled flyer from the estate sale.

For my grandmother, his death was a dream.
She’d place an extra plate on the dinner table,
set daily reminders for his medication,
and clip his favorite comics and columns
from the Sunday paper. His name wheezed
from her lips when she dozed.

I could not dream of him until years
later, his presence in my sleep
not confused as an act of bleeding
grief—a half-assed attempt to bring him back—
but a ringer of memory struck by a game
of horseshoes I played earlier that day.

This is a reprint of work originally published in Sunset Liminal.

Nicole Byrne suffers from a crippling addiction to poetry. She self-medicates with copious amounts of black coffee, avocados, hot sauce, and rock ‘n’ roll. The treatment does not appear to be working and she hopes it never does. As of August 2015, she has uprooted herself from Maine to move out to Kansas, where she is embarking on the quest of receiving her MFA at Wichita State University. Her work has previously been published in Words Dance, The Sandy River Review, and Sunset Liminal. Find her online at http://nicolebyrnepoetry.tumblr.com and on Twitter: @nicolebyrnepoet.

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