Grandmother’s Rhapsody

Tiny pink boots,
with yellow ponies
stomp on the doorstep
announcing the arrival
of a granddaughter.
Wispy blonde hair
gathered atop her head
bobs as she chatters
not stopping to say hello.

“Hello Pumpkin!” I announce
helping her out of her puffy
pink jacket, purple leggings
jumping up and down.
“My cousin’s a pumpkin, too!”
“She is indeed!”  Pumpkin two
dances up behind her, eyes
shining, also in pink, barging
ahead with hugs and a kiss.
I pull them into a group embrace
and breathe in the wonder
of their sweetness.

Dinner time is wiggles
and lighthearted scolding:
“Stay in your seat if you
want cake.”  Easily excited.
Rapturous laughter over
the silliest of things –
a word that sounds funny,
an eyebrow raised,
an involuntary snort –
such innocent glee.
My heart is full.

Afterwards, little feet
scatter, giggling as
they scramble –
the smallest one
taking a running leap
to scale our massive bed –
duck beneath my throw,
make a sorrowful effort
to hush – hiding –
as if i cannot see the
two-humped mass
beneath the blanket.

On tiptoes, I sneak
around the bed,
grasp the edge
and whisper “Boo”
as I lift the cover
to delighted squeals
and we play it again
and again, as if for
the first time, until
the smaller can no longer
contain herself and falls over,
weakened with rapture.

We cuddle, me sandwiched
in the middle, tiny legs
draped over mine,
heads leaning in.
“It’s so fun here, Grandma”
pudgy little hands touch
my cheeks, blue eyes
speaking such tenderness.
“Promise me you’ll come again.”
Then it’s time to leave,
and with mighty hugs
and mushy kisses
they are gone
and the sound of their
joy echoes in the silence
of their absence, filling
the empty spaces.
My heart smiles on.

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