Skip to content


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 ReviewThe Honest UlstermanIbbetson StreetThe Paterson Literary ReviewImpspired MagazineSalamander Ink Magazine, and elsewhere.


Poetry, The River

%d bloggers like this: