Bent Knee Walking

Ronnie killed himself
And then he killed himself a second time.
Third time’s a charm, said Grandma eventually.
Grandma eventually was not her real name. 
Her real name was Grandma inthefullnessoftime.
She was bent at the waist, the full right angle.
Her stoop was stooped.
But she kept her knees well groomed
And her table horizontal.
If not me, she used to say, then who?
To which I would reply: Plastic is the future.
She hated plastic, anything actually that was built since the war.
If we’d had plastic before the war we would have died sooner although
cleaner. That’s not what she’d say but you could hear her think it
By the rattle in her disintegrated hips. 
Grandpa’s rattle came from his pirate-issue eye-patch and the distance between that eye-patch and any kind of ocean-going vessel.
He had a thing for hyphens also. 
Aunty Betty was no aunt of mine. She had the vertical mouth creases of a chimpanzee and a sparse, Serengeti moustache that reached all the way around to behind her tiny flattened ears. Like twin peninsulai insulating her face against the winter and claims of racial superiority.
She turned up at Grandma eventually’s place once when I was there. 
I was six or seven years old. She had been in a car that had rolled over next to Bange’s airstrip. She was unhurt except psychologically. She’d seen another woman from the car walking up the middle of the road on her knees. I’d figured she’d lost her lower legs and was walking somehow on stumps. But looking back now, she must have meant just simply on her bent knees.
She’d omitted the word ‘bent’ in her crazed description. The inclusion of that one word in clarification may have altered my life course.


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