The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Joseph Stern

Crazy Grandma Rising


Crazy grandma says her planet’s closed,
And shut the door behind you.

She is past being calmed

By doctors music sirens nurses children
That will sit with her and read with her,
Sounding out the words she slurs

And those she has forgotten.

They are past her or she is past them
Past Citalopram and Olanzapine
Past toothbrushing and toileting
These meals this home this shit. This calming music

Before death so she storms out bird

ice like
Hop flap
Flying through the winter breeze
Over a bridge

Into a café,
Where she sits, shivers, and inhales,
Smiling gently though the shelter of her shut eyes.

Then she lets her vision fly out
And watches it flapping away
As she blinks,
Clawing with her eyes at the world



JOSEPH STERN graduated from Yunnan University with a degree in Chinese Language and Literature.  His poetry has appeared or is upcoming in Common Ground, Literary Juice, Angle, The Main Street Rag, and other publications.



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