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Orbiting Space and Coffee Cup Rings

My Grandmother
hummed songs
to no-one—
to darkness,
to anyone

while circling
the rim of her coffee cup
with three crooked
middle fingers.

Half the time she would whistle—
half the time it was
just the click of her
long fingernails
seeking new orbits
from memory,
touching what she could
of earth;
holding her feet

My five year old daughter
just asked her eight year old brother:
“Are you still blind?”
Just as I was about to write the next line
of this poem—
about how their Great Grandmother
was blind;
and how I figured,
that the reason she circled that coffee cup’s rim
because touching anything
is better
than touching nothing.

No answer.
My daughter asks louder:
“Are you still blind?”
My son is Frankenstein armed
grabbing onto my shoulder;
I am staring in disbelief.
“Mom? Is that you?” he asks,
pretending around corners
through time.

I answer him—dumbstruck and smiling
at the way it all works, the clock guts
and genius of this whole operation—
“Yes, dear, it’s me.”

“Oh.” He answers,

then gone.

“Are you still blind!”
His sister yells down hallways
through space—through
ancient hollow-mouthed threads

as I am circling
around the last time
I saw my Grandmother’s face;

and how I just…

walked out
that door,


© Kristin Reynolds 11 7 2010

Orbiting Space and Coffee Cup Rings


Joined July 2010

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 42

Artist's Description

I got a new book in the mail yesterday (Bukowski), and the first poem I read from it was, My Father…the second I finished reading, I began writing this…and the rest wrote itself.

There is nothing like true inspiration.
(I had to stop reading, because I read three poems from his book, and three of mine came back. I’d have been there all day.)

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