Saturday, December 1, 2012


hands chapped from washing
wrinkled hand resting on the
ever-aching hip
walking, moving, never still
worn Bible covered with red
contact paper on the table beside
her chair
stubborn (I come by it honest)
loving to set on her porch and
visit with the old folks of
the family
cinnamon-rolls in the morning
terrified of snakes – funny for
such a country girl –
never learning to drive –
funny for such an independent
girl who swore in later life
that she never needed nobody
thin-lipped when angry
silent in her punishment –
maybe the loudest silence
I’ve ever heard
I hated Grandma in old age –
not her, but what it did to her –
everything started to break
some days she looked like
a robot she had so many
screws and rods sticking out
of her
how she loved to sing
The Grand Old Oprey her
dream – I think Mom’s
right - she’s singing now
for sure – alto clear and strong
I hope she knows now that
existence isn’t all work –
that there’s play for her too,
the wee girl who got switched
the day her older siblings
(I still secretly hold this against
them – dead, every one)
dared her to dance
Well, Grandma, there’s no more
switches and I sure hope you
learned to dance to that music
you’re makin – loving you still,
I am

November 30, 2000 –
Yesterday, just short of her 87th birthday,
Mary Edra Tennant went to be with her Lord
before I could come and say good-bye
in person - she didn’t make it to the
surgery and I was coming, Grandma,
I was coming.  How I wish you could
have waited just a little while longer.

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