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Coco Channel

Coco Chanel

(from Brainstorms)

I can still smell my grandmother’s perfume

on one of the sweaters that I kept.

Fourteen years later and I remember

lying on your bed in the mornings

while you drank coffee and juice

and smoked your morning cigarette.

You found the streak in the back of my hair,

a golden shimmer in a sea of brown

that no one else had noticed.

I can find it when the angle is right,

and I feel like a little girl again.

Sometimes I want to pick up the phone,

to call you just to hear your voice

respond to my question:

“What’s new, Tia?”

“New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico.”

“And don’t forget New Haven.”

We sat together in the hospital room.

I held your hand as the doctor explained.

I understood your reasons.

Even as I wanted you to hold on,

you knew that the time for healing had passed.

You lay in your bed back home,

and asked me to get you a pound

of chocolate-covered marshmallows,

of fresh bing cherries, and a carton of cigarettes.

“I’ve done everything I ever wanted to do.”

You said those words that echo in my soul.

I can still smell my grandmother’s perfume,

reminding me that life is not about regrets.

It's been almost 23 years since I heard the sound of my grandmother's voice, though her words often echo in my mind. What wisdom do your memories hold?

With love,


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