My beautiful granddaughters
(I will honor Cameron with his page later)
|Cadence 4 months|
|Kalaya 16 moths|
|Jaelynn 12 (Tiffiny too)|
Cries of the Spirit is a very nice collection of poems by women compiled by Marilyn Sewell. I went searching in that book for more by Margaret Atwood after posting Boat, which many of you told me you particularly enjoyed. This is just the third portion of a five part poem. As a grandmother I fully understand how passionately one loves her grandchildren (and great grandchildren). I was fortunate to have both grandmothers in my life well into my thirties, and I was close to both of them. But for some reason, I never suspected my great grandmothers would have felt the same fierce connection to me. Reading poems like these help me realize the connection I feel for my "decedents" would likely have been felt by my great grandmothers too. That's nice to think about.
Five Poems for Grandmothers (excerpt)
How little I know
about you finally.
The time you stood
in the nineteenth century
on Yonge Street, a thousand
miles from home, with a brown purse
and a man stole it.
Six children, five who lived
she never said anything
about those births and the one death,
her mouth closed on a pain
that could neither be told not ignored.
She used to have such a sense of fun.
Now girls, she would say
when we would tease her.
Her anger though, why
that would curl your hair,
though she never swore.
The worst thing she could say was:
Don’t be foolish.
At eighty she had two teeth pulled out
and walked the four miles home
in the noon sun, placing her feet
in her own hunched shadow.
The bibbed print aprons, the shock
of the red lace dress, the pin
I found at six in your second drawer,
made of white beads, the shape of a star.
What did we ever talk about
but food, health and the weather?
Sons branch out, but
one woman leads to another
Finally I know you
through your daughters,
my mother, her sisters,
and through myself.
Is this you, this edgy joke
I make, are these your long fingers,
your hair of an untidy bird
is this your outraged
eye, this grip
that will not give up?
her grandmother called her from the playground
“yes, ma’am,” said the little girl
“i want chu to learn how to make rolls” said the old
but the little girl didn’t want
to learn how because she knew
even if she couldn’t say it that
that would mean when the old one died she would be less
dependent on her spirit so
the little girl said
“i don’t want to know how to make no rolls”
with her lips poked out
and the old woman wiped her hands on
her apron saying “lord
and neither of them ever
said what they meant
and I guess nobody ever does