Hard To Swallow

My grandmother, her mother,
used to tell me to chew each bite
of my food 32 times.

That’s a lot of times, Grandma.

That way you won’t choke.

She pushes her finely chopped,
some nearly puréed,
meat and vegetables and fruit,
slowly nudging them around
the compartments of the nursing home’s
green plastic tray.

Mama, can I help you pick some up?

She looks toward me, eyes blank,
then back at the piles of goo.

Even her favorite course,
dessert, is a lumpy mush
of some kind of cake.

Her spoon continues to prod
little portions into neater puddles.

It’s hard to watch her age
by seconds, each spoonful,
now at any moment,
that is the truth of the truth:
we float in space together
in a vacuum, our breath running out
at the same speed.

I watch her, the tell,
there is no cover charge for this event,
it’s a scene
that’s free
for everyone.

* * * * *

Todays word is breath. Use it in any kind of writing and then post it and link to me, or simply leave it in the comments below. I’d love to read what you wrote. Happy Friday : )

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