My ex-husband’s grandmother
Gramma Lynn
feared matriarch of their family,
served up oatmeal every morning
when we visited the summer place
in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

It was slimy, 
never hot enough,
the brown sugar–
crystalized, lumpy–
would not melt.
The raisins she insisted 
on sprinkling in our melmac bowls,  
from a box on the shelf from last year, maybe,
maybe from three summers ago.

Instant coffee–Sanka.
No matter how long we stirred it,
never dissolved.
Every morning we schemed
to find a way into town,
to get a real cup.

I truly thought she didn’t like me.
Others were cooked fried eggs or
were flipped pancakes.

Years later, well 23 years exactly, 
long after the divorce, long after
the mean letter her husband wrote,
 a month after she died,
a quaint couch, with a floral pattern
arrived UPS, with an envelope under the cushion,
no note:
a money order for ten thousand dollars.