for Nonna

Maggie Munday Odom

We stand at the window
and watch the neighborhood go by.
The petunias you planted perch
on the sill and frame our view,
a postcard of a North Carolina spring.
It is late morning and our gentle
hands embrace our lukewarm coffee cups.
We wake up slowly and the world waits for us. 

On the front stoop, grief is pawing
at the door. 

It comes patiently, then all at once.
The streak in your hair, whiter.
The slowness, slower.
The stories, harder and harder to remember.

I am holding you like an impossible breath. 

I find myself bracing for the ache.
I anticipate the chasm,
the emptiness that will sweep the sky.
It’s a specific kind of sadness,
the knowledge that I can’t stop time from running
its raging course.

We stand together at the window
and watch the neighborhood go by.
In my hands is a coffee,
in my hands in a prayer:
When the time comes, may we both
know something like peace. 

Maggie Munday Odom is a second-year studying Theatre and English.