by Miki Smith
My Papa has brown skin,
My Obaasan has yellow.
My Papa’s legs are bowed
and he is shorter than He was.
My Obaasan’s wrists are worn
and well-stricken, bone shown
through wrinkled paper
She still cooks and cleans for him.
My Papa’s feet are gnarled
and his toenails jut out like bayonets
like he used to use.
My Obaasan’s legs are bamboo
thin and knobby,
She still bends down.
My Papa’s hair is textured snow
He still combs it ‘cause he earned it.
My Obaasan’s eyes have no lids
and her face has Time on it,
but she colors her hair jet-black authentic
because she wants to look nice for Him.
My Papa shoots up insulin everyday
has a metal ticker
and he takes pills like candy,
My Obaasan makes sure.
He can still laugh, hardy
and sing, lovely.
My Obaasan hums along sometimes.
My Obaasan’s breasts droop low
and her short figure is disproportioned
My Papa still thinks she’s sexy.
My Papa is retired with military pension,
and he watches game-shows
in orthodox fashion.
My Obaasan finds the remote for Him.
My Obaasan is my Papa’s
Passenger driver, always.
And she calls me
By my mother’s name. I let her
Because I have my mother’s face, and
My Obaasan used that name to get to
My Papa had to go back to the war when
He fell in love with the enemy.
They are my Grand Parents.
I find them
On rarest occasion
Miki S. Smith eats anchors zest with conundrums and talks trash whenever a fly lands. She takes swigs of poison and likes it. Her blankets overwhelm her, though they’re only tying to stave off cold feet. It is for this she is grateful.