Plates carry stories no river washes away.
They tell their stories to spoons
that mix them into the soup
and future generations choke --
they don't know why -- on words
beginning with the letter of Grandmother's name.
Every other day I lift weights, using table and chair
for props to keep my bones from breaking.
I know so much my grandmother didn't --
what not to eat and to walk stairs
rather than ride elevators. But also old ways --
to not break promises, not go back on your word
about who gets the china from Czechoslovakia.
Shrimp shells left an extra day in the garbage,
soured milk leave odors that linger.
The light diminishes little by little.
If I look away, sudden dark, and once again,
the secret in that in-between-moment, gone.