by Merrell Miles

“How does it feel to be old?”

“It’s horrible.”

My grandpa recently went to Alabama

where he buried his older brother.

Most of his friends have been dead

a while, but a few still call his house.

Then grandpa spends a couple

of weeks talking about how bad off

they are, rehashing the same stories

every time I visit, sometimes twice.

My daddy would say, “You already told

me that.” But I am not my father,

so I force a smile, hoping, for once,

that the glaucoma will hide my

salty cheeks and the terrible face I make

when I cry. He remembers how his

generation is dying like cats to the coyotes.

“But I’m lucky. It happens to everyone. Who

am I to think I’m special?”

As a student of English and Modern Languages, Merrell Miles enjoys writing, reading, and communication. As a child of the Delta, her poetry radiates her blue-collar roots. When she isn’t running with Ro, her Australian Shepherd, Merrell frequently explores Compamento Viejo, Olancho, Honduras.