I'm in your old bedroom, but the headboard is ours.
So much time has passed, I'd forgotten
where we bought it. Commonwealth, I guess,
where we once thought everything happened
to everyone else, wealth at least. Your late discovery
bought this plot, and post
your husband's death, this room’s bereft
of any embrace, save that of children
or the dog you fattened until it had to be put down.
Tyler. How my wife and her sister spent a summer
walking him into shape, the poor
bastard. When she returned him to you, slimmed,
you gave more than he could refuse. The end
room is positioned so the blinds part,
& the lake is clear through nine trees,
two of which hold a swing I never saw you in.
Mainly, with a light lager, often in the water,
unabashedly in your body in your late seventies,
or after ranting about who emptied the ice bin, making sweet
sun tea. For a time, we assumed you jested-
calling me a rat for having a ponytail,
my Lebanese brother-in-law a terrorist.
You listened to the Mets on the radio, the way
my own grandmother took in the Yankees.
You met her & in five minutes were a blend.
When my grandfather remarried, you stalked him
at my wedding, calling him a goat. I respected that.
The last time I saw you, you held our first child
before she could talk, dressed in your preferred
full-blood red. That day,
you didn’t bring your folded cash or grocer’s candy,
but breaking ninety, still kissed on the lips.
About the Author: Maximilian Heinegg's poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, December Magazine, Free State Review, and Crab Creek Review, among others. When he isn't teaching English in the public schools of Medford, MA, he is busy making rock and folk records that can be heard on ITunes, Spotify, and here, and designing beers as the brewmaster of Medford Brewing Company.