my grandmother’s shack was torn down.
She never owned the land.
The neighbors were related
to her second husband,
who died of cancer before I was born.
Her third husband had a strawberry garden
somewhere that was reclaimed by nature
after he died from his lungs giving out.
I can still smell
my grandmother’s second hand smoke
and see the coffee mug of beer
she drank daily,
while the five o’clock news
fought with static on the TV.
She had some cats too, who were smart
enough to be afraid of strangers,
so they disappeared after she died,
which taught my teenage brain
that endings are never tidy.
There was also a road down to a beach
next to her shack.
The beach had more stones than sand
and so much seaweed that it tickled
my childhood mind with fantasies
of water monsters, and at least
that’s all still there,
except there’s a gate now.
Richard LeDue (he/him) lives in Norway House, Manitoba, Canada. He has been published both online and in print. He is the author of nine books of poetry. His latest book, “It Could be Worse,” was released from Alien Buddha Press in May 2023.