â€“ which children warbled on in Claremont Park one spring day in my third year. GÃsela my fatherâ€™s mother, took me there. I spent the days with her now that my mother had gone back to work. In her brocade satchel, crochet-work, a picture-book for me. But overnight the yellow bird whistles had appeared and I wanted one passionately. Watching big girls play hopscotch at curbâ€™s edge or telling stories to V.J under the shiny leaves of privet hedge were pale pastimes compared to my desire Did I hector one of the privileged warblers to tell us where they were acquired?
â€“ the candy store on Tremont Avenue Of course I donâ€™t call her GÃsela. I call her Grandma.. "Grandma will buy it for you," â€“ does she add "mammele " not letting her annoyance filter through as an old-world friend moves into view? The toddler and the stout grey-haired woman walk out of the small park toward the shopping streets into a present tense where whatâ€™s ineffaceable repeats itself. Accidents. I dash ahead, new whistle in my hand She runs behind. The car. The almost-silent thud. GÃsela, prone, also silent, on the ground.
Death is the scandal that was always hidden. I never saw my grandmother again Who took me home? Somebody did. In the next few days (because that afternoon and night are blank) I donâ€™t think I cried, I didnâ€™t know what to ask (I wasnâ€™t three), and then I did, and "Sheâ€™s gone to live in Florida" they said and I knew she was dead. A black woman, to whom I wasnâ€™t nice, was hired to look after me. Her name was Josephine â€“ and that made twice Iâ€™d heard that name: my grandmotherâ€™s park crony was Josephine. Where was Grandma; where was GÃsela ? she called me to her bench to ask one day. I say, "Sheâ€™s gone to live in Florida."