She’s 91, white-haired, rocking chair, a mile and a half of great grandchildren line the fireplace.
She insisted we call her “Grandmother”…wouldn’t hear of anything less, no Grandma, Nanny, Nana, lowbrow.
She answers the rotary phone, still hanging in its rightful place; I swallow my regret and use her pedigree. “Yes”, joyfully she shames me.
I apologize for my derelict, trying to conceal my regret. I make promises we know I can’t keep. Still, she plays along.
Somewhere in the fifteen borrowed moments she asks me, “is this…” I say my name, “it’s me..it’s ..” yes, yes, ” she says hiding the shame of age’s evil trickery.
On the highway, cars are zooming by me and I slow it down enough to hold on to the moment awhile longer. First bell rings in ten. I decide there is no better education than the short conversation I’m engaged in, tardy.
She was a seamstress, he was a soldier. She fixes things: him, me, us. All of us. She is proud, never utters a harsh word to or against us.
In her home, I’m ten again. I lay my head in her lap and she picks up my hand. “Beautiful skin” she says comparing youth to time. I close my eyes and feel immortality.
We try to turn the hourglass over but our hands can not reach.
Second bell, I curse time. “How’s your oldest?”… “fine, we are all fine”, I lie.
One last student scampers through the locking doors, “I have to go, Grandmother”.
She tells me I’ve made her proud, today’s she’s happy. I tell myself I have time, I’ll make time.
But, I can’t make time. No one can fabricate time. It is given and there’s never nearly enough.