There's no Candy Land in heaven, don't worry,
      but there are donuts.
Glistening round and lightest brown
      with cracking sugar glaze,
Made by a little old granny
      in pink tennis shoes.
No, but that's not right —
      they were neutral and sturdy,
Nurse's shoes, your only shoes,
      and you were regular-size. Grandma-size.
With long gray hair wound in a bun,
      like dough ropes twined into shape,
Then white hair curled in a perm,
      sugar glazing, tight as donuts on a dowel.

I learned more about you in your obituary
      than what ever left your lips.
But maybe it did, so maybe I mean
      than what ever reached my ears.
I had small ears then,
      and they could take only so much.
So what they took was your gentle interest in my life,
      an easy introduction to yours.
The best way to keep apples from browning,
      the best sugar-water to attract hummingbirds.
The best way to stand so still and feed deer,
      and the electric way to keep them out of your garden.
And you read my favorite stories and played my boring games,
      and you let me dance among your ballerina fuchsias
And you let me pet the soft leaves of your African violets,
      and you cut open your aloe when I,
Clumsy as you were graceful,
      burned myself in your kitchen.

You were only Grandma to me,
      my world beginning and ending when I did,
And though I know what I knew was good,
      I know there was more than that.

That's why I suppose there's no Candy Land in heaven.
      But there must be a kitchen there,
And you can make donuts — when you wish —
      and lure us with sensual chocolate chip cookies
And tease our tongues with savory peanuty balls
      with crisp chocolate coating, bittersweet between teeth.
And you'll tell us your stories, all that makes you you,
      And we will eat it all up,
Licking sugar off of our lips.


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