foughtGrandpa tilled the fields out back with a hat on, the plow slicing through soil like a prow. He carried a pitchfork into the house to eat lunch. After he finished, he’d toss it on the table and say, “Well, I should get back in the water.” He fought pirates between church pews and soothed lions in the dark circus of the barn. For him, rest was a not-yet-smoked cigar in a pocket; faith was a dahlia bulb in a pot in March.
foughtGrandma dug the root cellar of our house herself. She told people she’d found a mammoth bone and dragged it to some bigwig in the city. I believed her. I believed her just as surely as I believed the Martian landscapes tucked between pages on her nightstand, or the dreams of her children tucked between clean sheets upstairs. She swallowed whole planets and then went outside to feed the pigs even when the icebox in the corner shook its head no.
foughtThey plotted their course together. No maps, no calipers—just using each other as their north star. They slept side-by-side each night on flypaper and still woke each morning to add rungs to their ladder. On Saturdays, they’d test its sturdiness by leaning it against the sky and they’d climb—Grandma’s bloomers would always show, but no matter. The people of the town would look up at them like astronomers, but call them boastful later. The pageantry, they’d say, was shameful.
foughtNow Grandma and Grandpa are the tin bathtub in the kitchen; they are comets drawn on paper; they are the sea air crackling around me as I tie my shoes.
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