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into the ground

by Serena Rodriguez

granddaddy sits in his lawn chair. i watch heat rise from metal arm rest. toasted grass crunches underneath the weight of his silence. he watches grandma. she leans into cracked earth, her cotton dress lifted above dirty knees. her fingers sift seeds and sweat slides down her temples. i eat black grapes from the withering vines. when she loses her wedding ring beneath the thick of roots and ground, granddaddy spends a week searching for gold while i sit in the shade shucking peas with purple fingers. 

i’m nineteen when granddaddy cries into the receiver, she’s gone. i am far from childhood and the flattened land of mississippi and i feel the phonebooth shrinking around me. when i see him again, he eats watermelon and forgets my name. i hide in the church’s bathroom and watch a bee try to suck nectar from wallpaper roses. when he tells me goodbye, when he tells me we won’t see each other again, i tell him that he’s silly and hug him and hurry down the road.

About the Author

Serena Rodriguez is writing her way through the undergraduate program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Currently, she’s working on her collection of poetry, which examines the wounds that tangle amidst the narratives of sexuality, love, and religion. Serena is a Poetry Editor for Santa Fe Literary Review and lives in Lamy, NM. She has been published in Santa Fe Literary Review,, and Accolades. You can find more of her work at

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