About this Poem 

"What you don’t realize about elegies, until someone you love dies, is that the reality of loss is fleeting. It then becomes something imaginary in your mind; a horror story you’re addicted to. I approach the elegy trying to understand the moment they ceased to be in this world; the difference between the two realities. It creates a third: that delicious and devastating, invented garden that is poetry."
—Bianca Stone

Making Apple Sauce with my Dead Grandmother

Bianca Stone

I dig her up and plop her down in a wicker chair.
She’s going to make apple sauce and I’m going to get drunk. 
She’s cutting worms out of the small green apples from the back yard 
and I’m opening up a bottle. It erects like a tower 
in the city of my mouth.

The way she makes apple sauce it has ragged 
strips of skin and spreads thickly over toast.
It’s infamous; eating it is as close to God as I’m going to get,
but I don’t tell her. There’s a dishtowel wrapped around her head
to keep her jaw from falling slack—

Everything hurts. 
But I don’t tell her that either. I have to stand at the callbox
and see what words I can squeeze in. I’m getting worried.
If I dig her up and put her down in the wicker chair
I’d better be ready for the rest of the family 

to make a fuss. I better bring her back right. 
The whole house smells of cinnamon and dust. 
We don’t speak. She’s piling the worms up in a bowl
and throwing them back into the yard. 

Copyright © 2014 by Bianca Stone. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 14, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Bianca Stone

Bianca Stone

Bianca Stone is the author of Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Tin House/Octopus Books, 2014), and is also the illustrator of Antigonick (New Directions, 2012), a collaboration with Anne Carson. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.