Remembering My Grandmother
A.D. Winans
A.D. Winans Page 1
Oh how I hated that Third Street Hotel
My grandmother old and wrinkled
Sitting in the lobby with withered
Men and women reclining on worn couches
Staring off into space
With eyes like death warrants
The smell of death
The smell of funeral parlors
Filling the lobby
My grandmother pale and sickly
Her voice shaking like
An earthquake tremor
Rising slowly to hug me
Wearing her years
Like rosary beads

Oh how I hated those visits
Watching those old people

Shuffle in and out of the hotel
On their way to a Sunday walk
Or a meal at a Tenderloin cafeteria
Looking like wasted corpses
On a 24 hour pass from the morgue
Living behind drawn shades
In single lightbulb rooms
Sealed like tombs
Walking in endless circles
Like a mad conductor
At an abandoned railway yard

Oh how I hated those visits
With death
Seeing my own mortality
In my grandmother's eyes

The old hotels are gone now