I Remember Nana

I remember my Nana,
gasping on the floor
her glasses pressed
awkwardly against her face
a thin wisp of spittle
ran from her frozen mouth
while ragged air rasped
in gurgles from her lungs
I was nine, maybe ten
I remember the doctor
who told her to exercise
and to eat less salt
I remember Nana
walking from the porch
to the front sidewalk
exhausted and miserable
I remember when
her feet caught on fire
while warming them
with the space heater,
but mostly,
I remember her terrified eyes,
blue and grey
and a little cruel
I saw tears in them
while I held her hand
and waited for the ambulance
they said I was brave,
that I did good
I remember being helpless,
and that I felt shame
because I knew, deep down,
that I wasn’t brave
at all

© Christopher Raine