laughing and talking to hide her tears. (6)
Wait a minute—they're laughing and joking together, but the grandma is secretly sad and isn't letting the child in on why.
but only known to a grandmother. (10)
Again, whatever is eating at the grandma seems to be a private pain. We can't help but wonder if the kid knows what that pain is, and maybe even shares it… just separately.
[…] but the childis watching the teakettle's small hard tears (13-14)
The grandmother is talking to the child, but the child has gone off in her own, daydreaming world. Is it a happy world or a sad one? How can we tell?