by Allison Eir Jenks

Grandma put me in nightgowns
and blow-dried my hair. Grandpa bought doughnuts.
We took rides later than anyone else.

He listened to the police radio for fires
and we’d find them like movies.

Grandma sang about birds at an animal fair
and big baboons by the light of the moon.

Grandpa didn’t know the words,
but he’d hum them.

When grandma was dying her brain
was dazed and she was calling my name
mixed with others as I stood in her doorway.

Grandpa sat in the basement with her pictures
around him and most of him was gone.

Each year made him more of himself.
She was him, too. Even their faces formed
into each other’s.

He kept her dresses in the closet
with ties he’d never wear again.
And he began to die faster than we are dying.

I know grandpa is somewhere singing
on the moon about baboons

and grandma is humming along.