Grandma had always been eccentric.
The straw men in each room, recumbent
Sitting in dusty rockers whose runner
Had worn grooves in the spongy linoleum,
Or propped in corners like penitent drunks
Seemed emblematic of her quirks.
It was easy to ignore the creeping unease,
The way their lifeless eyes seemed to track
Your movements through the rooms,
How their sun-bleached linen shirts always felt
Just a shade too warm for their dark corners.
That night, packing away the remnants of her life,
A sound, the push-broom scratch of sweeping,
Woosh, woosh, the dragging sigh of bristles on the floor.
I thought of straw-footed men, the shuffling dances
My grandfather would perform after too much wine.
The sheets still smell like her, laying, as I do,
Cradling a pillow to my chest; the sweet-grass smell
Of dry Bermuda hay and earthy alfalfa. I close my eyes.
Once, stirred half from sleep, I thought I sensed a shadow
Cross my face, the soft-bristled whisper of straw sweeping,
Sweeping, sweeping across the floor.
Day Four Prompt: A poem based on an image from a dream, this feels incomplete (especially when you know the full context; see below), but try as I might, I couldn’t get a satisfying ending given the time constraints. Also, since I don’t generally remember my dreams, this was taken from a dream my sister recounted to me a while ago via Facebook Messenger: