We used to walk like this with Grandma,
over gravel paths and down narrow roads
laughing and looking at birds. And then,
we sat on the swing and drank iced tea,
while Grandpa smoked his cigar nearby.
Their house was full of brown carpet
rough and familiar like the hands
that built the birdhouses and the swing
in the backyard. The bathroom tile
was laid like daisies, white and yellow;
it smelled of strong powder
that Grandma kept under the counter,
of toothpaste and childhood baths,
and the curtains in the middle room
looked like ghosts at night.
Mornings smelled like jelly toast,
and cigar smoke that soaked into the sofas
and the tables and the lampshades.
Grandpa’s shirts still smell of smoke,
and doll clothes and motor oil