Grandma brought one of her grandchildren
each summer when she drove to California
to see her daughter, my aunt, and her family.
The summer I was 12, it was my turn.
We took a detour after Illinois to stay a week
with Grandma’s aunt in San Diego

Aunt Helen was 90-something
She was spry,
lived in her own house
and took care of herself.
She was in remarkably good health
for her age,

When we arrived,
she rang some chimes and announced,
“I feel bad vibes entering the house.”
That was a first for me.

We went to a food coop and
I got to try bean sprouts.
We went to the ocean and the beach.
I waded in in my shorts
since I didn’t know to bring or wear my swimsuit,
let alone a towel.
I guess when you’re 90 something
you don’t think of these things.

We were there over the Fourth of July,
so got to see the fireworks from
high up on a big hill in the city.
It was a spectacular view!

The biggest adventure of all
came after Helen asked one night over dinner,
“Would anyone like to go with me to church tonight?
There’s going to be a slideshow from a man
Who was abducted by aliens.”
I didn’t understand why my grandma kicked me
Under the table when I said I’d like to go.

At the church, the guy seemed pretty normal.
Although his slides consisted exclusively of crop circles.
It was a bust, but at least we went.
You never know.
Could have been awesome.

Jennifer Gurney lives in Colorado where she teaches, paints, writes and hikes. She is a newly published poet, at age 59, with over 100 poems in print thus far. Jennifer has also published commentary about poetry. During the pandemic she joined the online poetry community of The Daily Haiku.