For Grief and for Ironing Published in Impspired Literary Magazine July 2019 Published with Feminine Collective November 2018 Lyrical Prose Mary Elizabeth Snook ironed on the day Grandpa Cecil Hayes died at 3:15 am and then she made cake, macaroni salad, scalloped corn, and goulash to bring to my Nana’s house. She ironed the day her ear hurt so badly that she vomited and then rallied to go to the A & P to get groceries and later babysat by mom and my aunt. She ironed the day she and my great grandpa arrived back from a vacay to Mammoth Cave and found out Mrs. Dickie’s mother died. Then she made pies for the funeral. When her ulcers were paining her and my great grandpa crossed the G.E. picket line to get his pay check, she ironed. All of those days and nights Earl stayed gone and even when he hopped a bus to Indy to join the Air Force, she ironed. When Larry sold his ’37 Chevy for $18 she ironed. The day my great grandpa fixed the coal room to be cemented she canned 3 pints of peppers, 9 pints of beets, and 5 quarts of gooseberries and then she ironed. She ironed on the days I visited when I stood apart not knowing what to say to her age and her gray and her creaky voice. I was too young to listen to her hands speak and to hear her eyes reveal how some human unions end in doom and others create exquisite detail and renditions not previously recorded. Yesterday, I stopped for grief and for ironing and I felt as old as I was born with nothing to be told that would fill 10 five-year diaries worth of life. If I were with her today I would walk with her in her garden and tell her all about how some days I barely know how to iron at all.