Jennifer L. Freed

Our parents
don’t seem to notice.
But soon after we unfold ourselves
from the long drive north, we
know: Grandma
must have been taken, may even be

Her body
is there, in the kitchen, cooking,
cleaning, knowing where
to put the spatula, the sponge, the bread,

but her eyes dart,
and dart away. Her arms,
when we cuddle, are cold.
She does not cup our cheeks with tender hands,
or cover them with kisses.

And when we try to call her back, she spins
with stony eyes,
spits, No, you don’t. You never
did. And I
never loved you,