ROOM 402 by ANNIE MCQUADE

i watch as my grandmother, with bordeaux
painted arms, listens as my grandfather
tells her about the routine details
of their shared household:

a squirrel that keeps trying to get into
the birdfeeder, a new can of pam cooking spray
has been added to the pantry, a leak
in the roof their son came over to fix.

IV’s grow out from her yet she still
asks what he is going to have for dinner,
and has he done the laundry? this is how
it goes these days, she needs the mundane

details and weather updates. she needs
the information she can’t see firsthand:
how my mom likes the new blender, where
i got my new watch, a photograph

of the shining sunset between the trees
of her backyard, the small sliver of the ocean
that can be seen from her front walkway.
the view’s she has seen for over forty years.

in a soft moment when it’s just us in this room,
she squeezes my hand and tells me she never wants
me to leave her. i won’t. but i know
the reality- we are not immortal and one day

we won’t be holding hands as she takes a nap.
i break a luna bar into two pieces and give half
to my grandfather who has not eaten supper.
it is 7:15 and raining as we sit and watch

our best friend close her eyes during a movie.
at 8 when visiting hours are done for the day
my grandfather and i will say goodnight to her
long before either of us are able to fall asleep.

 


Annie is from a small Rhode Island town no one has ever heard of. She is a full time college student and a retail store minion. In her free time she can be found either trying out new recipes with her mom or dancing and singing to Fleetwood Mac with her friends.

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