We had gotten up late that Friday morning
There were shirts to be picked and put on wriggling bodies
There were pants to be matched, too
And tiny socks with small shoes
There were cups of milk to warm
And a 'Curious George' episode to que
The phone buzzed, jiggling across the creamy vanity counter
I stared into the mirror applying eye liner,
first on top lid and then on the bottom
My mom and I always talk on the phone once I jump into the car,
And all is calm
Another buzz. Voicemail.
Another buzz. Text.
With make-up compacts jammed back into their rightful compartments
I glanced at the text
"Did you listen to my voicemail?"
Quickly, "No. What did it say?"
"Listen to it. Then call me."
I pulled on pants; picked a shirt; pushed on boots; prepared to listen to her voicemail
as I bounded down the stairs to dress the awaiting littles in the family room
Darkness passed through the second-floor stairwell picture window,
dimming the steps
Mid-flight, I stopped; the morning din gone
In its place the bossy silence of shock
Her words, heavy
"I just wanted to see if I could catch you."
"Grandpa...died this morning."
They clunked around first in my mind,
and then in my heart,
and then fell out in a puddle of tears
while I stood on the tred fixed
half-way up and
as I remembered
"Tom," I mustered
His footsteps understood and padded toward me
I hid myself in the solace of his warm eyes
Before the shirts,
and the shoes
in the hours since