Past Participle
Mischa Willett (bio)

This year, I had three grandmothers
die, which is not sad,
because, with baking lasagna
and crocheting night-time hats
for children I don’t have, it’s
what grandmas do.

More, of course, than those few
took their leaves, flew off,
sailed on reed skiffs to Karavee
if they were Modernists, like one
was, or went to wherever laughing
lapsed Catholics go, who shuffle
about the kitchen at night
looking for cold chicken.

One can be forgiven then, or I
can, which is to say, you will,
if everything recently looks to me
a premonition, essay on mortality:

a) old woman opens cold
into the coffee store
b) couples’ step into the street
trusting traffic to stop
c) a raven crashes into its shadow
sure, but
d) a pigeon?
e) two kids holding the warmth of
their half-wrapped burritos
but that’s a bit of a stretch;
f) the stretch
g) this mess

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