By Charlie Brice
On Mother’s Day a Facebook friend asked, “What
memory first comes to mind about your grandmother?”
I wish I would have remembered the lilac fragrance
that perfumed a room long after she left it, or the creek
of her leather purse as she rummaged through it, found
her wallet, and pulled out one of the ubiquitous twenties
she’d hand my mom or dad. I wish I would have recalled
her sitting in my father’s green chair, tracing the figures
on her brail watch, or how she always cried when
Lawrence Welk played a piece of Irish music.
I could have thought about those poodle-dog covers
she crocheted, while blind, that fit perfectly over
my father’s empty whisky bottles—he wouldn’t allow
them on the full ones. But the memory that immediately
sprang to mind when I read that question on Facebook, was
how grandma drank a case of Falstaff beer every three days.
Blind as she was, she memorized the route from her living room
chair into the kitchen where the “cold ones” waited in the fridge.
She fingered that brail watch nervously all morning until
12:01 PM, because to drink a beer, before then, would mean
that she was an alcoholic.
About the Author:
Charlie Brice won the 2020 Field Guide Poetry Magazine Poetry Contest and placed third in the 2021 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize. His sixth full-length poetry collection is Miracles That Keep Me Going (WordTech Editions, 2023). His poetry has been nominated three times for the Best of Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Atlanta Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Ibbetson Street, The Paterson Literary Review, Impspired Magazine, Salamander Ink Magazine, and elsewhere.