b e n j a m i n    b u c h h o l z

Creases

 

What is her most beautiful winterwhite snapping the sidewalk puddles cold barefooted chalk for the first time lifted from the dust bin in the high sporting equipment cupboard now pink and yellow and lime green tie-dyed runnels from the rain, smears on the windows, beautiful, in old ‘50’s skirts and pumps, grandmother, the not-grown up of us, clothesline and cold coffee, tending the dishes dumped and unclean from a Saturday night hangover in the houses of her children.

What is her most beautiful creases the car she drives to pick up ‘old ladies’ for church, all of them younger than her, enthusiastic as cats, cut tennis balls fastened by husbands last year before parting this world, to the knob ends of walkers, threadbare now, bald from pacing, but silent in the narthex, stowed, taking grandmother’s arm in a crouch to their places beneath the crucifix.

What is her most beautiful yoga at sunrise and a phone call to the daughter in Cali at midnight, what time zones she spans, what electricity aging forward into the fossil fuel that moves it, coal burnt, made figurine and impermanent, made to animate new-fangled can openers and email.

What is her most beautiful card at every holiday, just a hi how are you in our prayers and we saw your brother play hockey, plans for Arizona and golf, your grandfather’s on the respirator again and I wish your little sister knew what trouble she makes, as if she was never, herself, grandmother, trouble.

What is her most beautiful is thinking, us remembering for her, because she refuses to live anywhere but the now, a 1938 High School Prom, her dating quarterback, a yarn-wrapped class ring, a kiss in the bleachers, the names they chalked in hearts on the hidden upper inside of their school locker where, say, sixty-seven years later on a spring morning someone might find it in the old abandoned shell of the school and wonder who would name their kid Eugene now, or who might nickname themselves Betty, grandmother, rather than, say, Beth, or Liz, or Elle, those are common these days, but what, in chalk, does the demolition crew imagine if not persistence over those years, if not motile earth, a remainder indivisible, in love since they were 12, and inspiration?

 

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BENJAMIN BUCHHOLZ is a US Army Officer just recently returned from Iraq. His work has appeared widely at places like Planet Magazine, GoodFoot, Tarpaulin Sky, MiPo and others. For a full bibliography and other oddities, please see www.benjaminbuchholz.com.