The Ice Cream Cone
My Grandmother liked her Harvey Wallbangers.
She had a few too many one afternoon.
It wasn’t unusual and I didn’t think much of it
until she leaned in and slurred,
“Your mother had a nickname for her father’s penis.”
She lit a cigarette and took a drag.
“She called it the ice cream cone.”
She threw her head back and laughed.
I could see her gold fillings
and smell the vodka on her breath.
She blew a smoke ring toward me
and poked her finger through it.
Perspiration broke out on my upper lip.
Funny thing. Your mom went through a period
where she kept flushing her underpants down the toilet.”
The clam chowder I had for lunch was coming back up.
I swirled it around in my mouth.
“You feeling OK? You don’t look so good.”
She dipped a tortilla chip into a bowl of guacamole,
crunching and redipping.
“Be a dear and make me a fresh cocktail.”
She held out her glass.
I grabbed her tumbler,
went into the kitchen and smashed it in the sink,
cutting my hand on the shards.
Blood dripped onto her white shag carpet
as I walked back into the living room toward her.
“You let Grandpa babysit mom.”
“Oh, yes,” she smiled,
extinguishing her cigarette in the crystal ashtray.
“She was always his favorite.”
“You let grandpa babysit me.”
She reached toward me.
“Where’s my drink, Hon?”
She looked at the red stain on my dress
and sat up in her easy chair.
Her mouth fell open as she watched my hand drip blood
onto her custom made white suede sofa.
“Where did all this blood come from?” she screamed at me,
looking around the room.
“Where the hell did all this blood come from?”
Wendy Rainey’s poetry can be found in Rusty Truck, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, and several other journals and anthologies. A selection of her short stories is featured in Hiram Sims’ textbook, These Pages Speak (World Stage Press, 2016). Her book, Hollywood Church: Short Stories and Poems, was published by Vainglory Press in 2015. She is a contributing poetry editor on Chiron Review.