The Last Jeopardy Episode
I’ll take painful memories for 200, Alex.
I arrived at your house after dinner,
muscles aching from a long week at work.
I almost didn’t want to come.
My day off spent entirely in bed was a nagging wish
I ignored as I knocked on your door
and let myself in.
What are excuses?
I was used to the darkness of your living room,
used to the TV at top volume, but something about you
that day was different. You taught me to make you coffee
by shouting instructions over the TV into the kitchen.
It was bitter and dark to realize all the things
you could no longer do for fear of straining yourself
or tangling in the tubing of your oxygen machine.
I remember thinking how useful it will be
if I could make coffee for you for all my future visits.
What is the irony of hindsight?
We talked for a while without much to say.
I told you about work, putting a positive spin
on the mundane days, either for your benefit or mine.
You told me stories of your past, wild days,
your college band, selling rare coins, and buying your house
and it didn’t matter that I’d heard the stories before
or that it took twice as long to tell them
between your gasps for breath and raspy coughs.
Finally, you put on the newest episode of jeopardy
and I didn’t tell you I watched it at home before I came.
I’ll take trying to be a good granddaughter for 1000
I only guessed the questions I knew the first time I watched it
I didn’t want you to think I was some kind of genius.
You got every geography question right
and I got the ones about musicals
and you said hey, we make a pretty good team.
What is knowing the answer all along?
You were tired and I was tired, but I didn’t want to leave,
Didn’t want to call this for what it was, what it would become.
What is a bad feeling in my stomach?
I didn’t want to believe it, thought I was being pessimistic,
thought it was anxiety trying to predict the future.
But the next day, when we got the call,
I cried before anyone told me you were gone
By Ally Blovits
Ally Blovits an undergraduate student at Michigan State University studying creative writing and theatre. When not in East Lansing at MSU, Ally lives in Grandville, Michigan with her parents and her twin brother. Ally’s work has previously been published in Apiary Magazine, The Sheepshead Review, and LAMP poetry collection.