For my Grandma, Lillian Harvey Lewis

Drat that quarry!
Every time they blast,
they shake the dust right
out of the air, rain it down
on my tables, my china
figurines, my cut-glass bowls
that shine so pretty 
in my bay window,or would
if they weren’t constantly 
covered in quarry dust.

That quarry pays my husband’s
salary, our mortgage, buys 
our groceries. But each time
the blast rattles our windows
the dust falls like dirty snow.
Out comes the rags and Pledge
and Windex, and once again
I gather up the dust, shoo
it out the back door. 

Sometimes I wonder why I bother
dusting, dusting, dusting.
Sometimes I think I should pack
away my treasures, my pretties.
But oh, we worked so hard
to get out of Scranton, where
dust was black with coal, out 
of my father’s house, narrow
and dark, full of uncles and cousins
who slept on our sofas, ate our food
when they couldn’t find find work.

This little house is ours alone,
where we can give our grandchildren
what our daughters never had.
Grass beneath their feet,
windows that let in light.