Riverside, 1976

The car ride over was always silent -
the radio taken out -
and her grandson watched the sun rise
over the evergreens beside the highway, then
counted the liquor stores, food stamp signs.

At the park, she sat in the grass patches
doing crossword puzzles,
sometimes glancing over
the stacks of newspaper pages
to watch the water move.

On the other side of the park,
he smelled the cigarette smoke
as it twisted
with the morning mist. Chased geese
over the railing. Ran his fingers
over the freshly carved names
on a monument about a place called Vietnam.

Often, he ate sausages
at the diner across the street,
listening to fishermen
who never saw him.

When they would meet back at the car at noon,
she didn’t look at him,
not even
when they arrived back home
where he never saw her
without her wig.