Grandma’s Heaven

No more VCR light blinking the same
sad midnight hour.  No more falling
asleep to the lullaby of talk-radio hosts
promising rapture in the form of alien
abduction or plain old Armageddon.

No more arguing with ghosts
and browning the roast alone.
Or filling the kettle with just enough
water for one cup of tea.  No more
hope or love or joy

or obligation to put the flag up
in time for the Fourth.  No more shadows
with their abstract sorrows, or long Decembers
spent feeding the hungry black woodstove
of memory.  No more doctors or agile smiles

or shiny tools licking arteries clean.
No more wincing stars, no more now
where did I put that? She’s built herself a cabin
on the outskirts of the Milky Way, and she sits
on the porch in her rocking chair,

dressed in her red flannel nightgown and slippers,
a shotgun across her lap as she listens to the nearby creek,
a prayer, running steady and clear.