Granny Larocque

Granny Larocque

1892, Russell, Ontario

Us Larocque girls ran the other way when we saw Granny Larocque stomping
out the back, screen door whacking the house like a punishment, her eyes two
pie slits, huge bosom a hot broiling oven, apron strings flailing at her hips like the
arms of drowners and did she yell? no, did she swear? well, yes, she said
goddamhimgodalmightysonofa and the ground shrunk away from her feet,
chickens started squawking crazy, and Gramp’s favourite Miss Pinkham blasted
into the coop like she was walloped by a wind storm, hunkered in the corner,
quiet as goose down. Granny Larocque she was small and had hands that could
count your ribs even with your sweater on and fingers like talons, not long, but
wicked skilled. She plucked Miss P right out, wrung her neck like a dishcloth,
chopped the head clean off and nailed it with the milk bill to the door of Grandpa
Frank’s shack, ripped her apron right in half, flung it on his front step, went back
inside with her hair all in curlers made her look like some old-town Medusa. Her
hands shook which they never did. Cob Brown snuck out the back of the shack,
bottle sloshing inside his jacket, and us Larocque girls jumped into bed, tucked
ourselfs in tight as two matches in a matchbox, red heads sticking out like lit-up
tinder.

Source: poems from planet earth, Leaf Press, 2013