Mama Heaton’s Birthday

by nicolecallihan

Today, my grandmother, had she lived, would have been a thousand, maybe even a thousand and two. Timeless, true. I feel most like her when I’m in my old brown housedress, and I spread my knees and let the fabric hang between my legs, and there in that bowl made of cloth, I have a whole batch of beans to string or socks to match. I feel most like her when I’m propped up in bed sipping on ice water; when I’m yelling for someone and they don’t hear me so I yell and yell again; when I sop up bean juice with cornbread or call someone no-good or suddenly just want to sing. Sometimes it feels like a hundred years ago that we were all cooped up in that old green house, but sometimes, like this morning with the way the light is hardly even making it through the windows, it feels like I never even left.