Fumble on the big screen, everyone
up in arms. My daughter grasps my shirt
while nursing and can’t let go. Across the room,
my mother applies Chapstick without taking
her eyes off the screen. It’s Christmas. Everyone believes
in miracles and wants to hold the baby. My grandmother
sits at the table holding a doll. Beyond her, a train
slips through the snowy field carrying—what? Time
moves backwards on the field. Less than a minute left
on the clock. My grandmother’s lips barely close around the red
spoonful of Jello with coconut. A marshmallow falls
from the spoon in all its puffed-up,
childhood ecstasy. The game is nearly over. Pins
and needles. The tree is heavy with color
and ornaments of beans and children’s faces.
My grandmother tightens her fingers around the hanky
she has always held. Eventually, there is nothing
left beneath the tree. Everyone kisses the baby.
They each slip a finger into her palm,
and she struggles to let them go.