Grandma And Her Monkey

In the whimsical drawers of a sad music box,
there was a picture with burnt brown edges, now missing.

Abuela held a sceptre where her monkey perched.
She was four years old-poor, adamant queen
On the coast of Spain where monkeys were no rarity.

At tea-time I asked her about the sceptre.
She told me the monkey had teeth,
Her fat fingers were bananas.
I remember her thick skin peeling.

by MARINA GIPPS

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