Stage Four

Stage Four

for Gram

by Andrea Beltran


I’m framing still-shots of you
in my mind: in your blue tube-top
dress lying out by the pool, laughing
as we pretend we’re supermodels,
splashing each other with buckets
of water and posing for an imaginary
camera. In your readers, studying
pots on the stove, your recipes
culinary science as we sneak
sprays of bottled Easy Cheese
in our mouths behind your back.
Sitting on the furthest corner
of the mint-colored couch, glass of wine
in hand, all your grandkids doting on you
as you play your electronic poker
game with the hand that’s free.
Staying up late with us to laugh
over thrown together midnight nachos
and teenage tall-tales of love and roller-skating.
Tonight, our own metastasis: we’ll camp out
in your closet, try on all your clothes, play
slap-jack on the carpet and keep the cancer
from skulking in through the crack under the door.


-refers from the word “cancer” in Dawn Corrigan’s story Golden

  1. Jeanette Gallagher

    So much acting and activity to deny reality. How many will relate – most I’d say for all types of reasons. Once more – powerful.

  2. Yes, very easy to relate to this poem. All five of them are very good, Andrea.

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