At My Grandmother’s Funeral

Eventually, a conversation we once had—
about whistling, how we both had a gift for it—
rises to the surface. I try to think of
our other talks, but I only see
a very old woman in a blue bathing cap
and a very young girl in floatees
whistling together in the YMCA locker room.

Melissa Fite Johnson’s first collection, While the Kettle’s On (Little Balkans Press, 2015), won the Nelson Poetry Book Award and is a Kansas Notable Book. Her second book, Ghost Sign (Spartan Press, 2016), is a collaboration with fellow Kansas poets Al Ortolani, J. T. Knoll, and Adam Jameson. Her poems have appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Rust + Moth, Broadsided Press, The Midwest Quarterly, velvet-tail, and elsewhere. Melissa teaches English and lives with her husband in Kansas. For more, visit

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1 Response to At My Grandmother’s Funeral

  1. ZurkPoetry says:

    What a beautiful and emotive poem 😊

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