I am dropped off by my mother
to her mother’s to spend the weekend
with Nana. It’s early Friday evening
and I’m already dressed in my lavender
and pink pjs, soon snuggled into Nana’s
oak sleigh bed, cane-seated chair placed
beside me so I don’t roll out overnight.
Morning sunrays drift from kitchen window
through the bedroom door, Nana already up
and starting breakfast. I sat at the table,
jade green linoleum, a pillow beneath me
on the jade dinette chair so I could reach
my bowl of farina and glass of lavender milk.
Nana decorated my cereal with pink jelly bean
eyes and a pat of butter mouth; food coloring
my milk was essential or I wouldn’t drink it.
If I finished all my breakfast, Uncle Jimmy,
who lived in the front rooms of the house,
would give me a half piece of Bazooka gum.
I asked him why the gum wasn’t lavender.
Dressed in pink pants and lavender top, I sat
on Nana’s lap as she read me a magazine
but the meaning slipped by me; I am 4 and
coddled to stay within reach, no running or
jumping, and I realize now that Nana was 71,
not up to racing after me but it didn’t stop her
from spoiling me.
We played grocery store with her canned goods
splayed on the table, my red cash register ringing
up her corn and peas. After a pb&j sandwich
with the crust cut off, the only lunch I’d eat,
Uncle Jimmy would give me the other half
of Bazooka gum and read me the comic.
I laughed when he laughed but we both knew
I didn’t understand. He grumbled again when
I asked him why the gum had to be pink.
My secret kept still.
I hated pink.
~ J R Turek
June 27, 2020