By Kaitlin Meilert

Nov. 24, 1924 – Feb. 22, 2009

If someone were to ask,
          “What do you remember about your granddad?”
I would turn my face and imagine myself at Nana’s and Granddad’s,
sitting on the scratchy pale blue and white couch,
Granddad teaching me how to play Solitaire, the taste of mint and chocolate
still in my mouth.

Granddad is wearing his glasses, the skin on his arms is thin
and spotted, the veins beneath
rushing with life.

He lays the cards out on the wooden coffee table in front of us,
deals seven cards horizontally: the first one face up,
the next six face down,
          and so on,
until he deals twenty-eight cards, the top card on each pile
face up.

Coy Kings and Queens peer at me every now and then.

If I were to stay another ten minutes, I would hear the clock on the fireplace mantle
ring in the hour
and whatever is playing on Home & Garden Television.

          “Remember when he said, ‘We’re peasants!’?” I ask my cousin and my sister.
We inhale the aroma of a memory:

We walk across the Astrodome parking lot,
the three of us giggling.
Granddad is nearby, the other adults straggling behind,
all of us locked inside the lot by weak barriers—
          colorful, triangular flags
          dancing festively and unsynchronized from thin, plastic-wrapped wire.

“We’re trapped!” we shout to Granddad.
“We’re peasants!” he exclaims,
          sending us girls into another fit of laughter.


Kaitlin Meilert holds a BA in English Writing & Rhetoric from St. Edward’s University. Her work has previously been published in the Sorin Oak Review. Kaitlin currently works at a tech startup in Flagstaff, AZ but continues to explore her creative side by writing and sharing her poems on her blog, Lady in the Pines.

Photo by Marcos Morales.

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