making contact

I wheeled grandma out onto the patio
so she could smoke a cigarette
(Peter Stuyvesant,
palm-up, Countess-style)
we sat together, side by side
staring at the blue hydrangeas
like solemn judges at a retro
swimming hat competition
‘And have you left the navy, Alfred?’ she said
even though my name’s Jim
and I’ve only ever been on the ferry
‘Good lad,’ she said, and took another puff
releasing the smoke so slowly
it drifted up around her face

it reminded me
of some old photographs
I saw in a book once –
mediums in trances, ectoplasm
streaming from their mouths
even though you could tell
it was just cheesecloth
it was properly spooky

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