Plums

(9.6.17)

Plums
When I see plums I taste childhood.
California.
Sun cooking sidewalks and driveways.
Bare feet burning and we giggle and we laugh.
We’re safe.
Hummingbirds hanging in air thick and sweet and sticky like plum juice dripping down arms and cooking on sidewalks.


Turquoise
I see turquoise and I smell perfume.
Gold-flecked wallpaper.
TV trays standing still and records rarely playing
The sun porch holding my grandfather.
The Giants game on and my grandmother pouring iced-tea into turquoise and gold tumblers.
Her smile.
Sunspots lining her soft, soft arms.
They match the color of her hair.
Her eyes sparkle
In her our Italian history locked away tightly.


White Toyota Truck
Lawn chair cushions filling the bed.
Heat and hard to breathe
His California cowboy eyes looking everywhere but at us.
The Giants score.
Grandpa humphs. Grandma caters.
He barely looks at us.
Miles of San Jose brown and dust.
I still scan the license plate of every white pickup I see.


The condo
The invisible landmines.
Remember:
the plums
turquoise
Her skin soft like baby powder
Grandpa sitting in his theater chairs
Minnesota and lakes and her eyes
Don’t breathe too loud
Read his mood by the way he opens the door.
Have the Giants game playing.
Don’t breathe too much
Remember the plums and hummingbirds and turquoise.
Minnesota is waiting.
Her arms wide open and safe and waiting

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

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