April 26: Nana
I don’t have any vices, Nana said
I don’t drink, I don’t smoke,
but I like to get my hair done.
She said it as if to justify
her standing weekly appointment
at the salon in her building.
As if she need apologize for indulging
a simple pleasure.
Before she was my Nana,
she lost a child, then a husband.
Preceded in death by her beloved
by nearly fifty years.
Yet I never thought of her as suffering;
I never saw her defeated,
even as her eyes clouded and dimmed,
forcing her to relinquish
the joy of the written page,
pinochle with the girls,
and her Pennsylvania driver’s license.
I see now that there must have been a private moment
on a certain day
when she decided against bitterness,
determined not to bemoan her losses.
Or maybe it was a hundred moments,
I choose to remember her in this way, today.