A poem I wrote for my grandmother, I’ve been listening to a lot of spoken word poetry lately, so once I get this to a point where I can read it out loud without crying, I’ll post the video up.
For My Grandma
I’m a slob, I’ll admit it.
She’s always known that,
my room was clean a week ago….and…
now it’s worse than before.
Just over a week ago my grandma got her wish.
She was taken from her bed
across a thousand miles of prayers
and met her God.
Now, I wear her sweater and her nightgown.
Neither smell like her now
the nightgown having been crumpled on the floor…
smells like my carpet.
The sweater, that looks like her and feels like her
was washed…using our soap.
Not her soap. She always smelled like soap.
Soap and cleaning supplies, like the times she came over
and no one was home yet
so she’d wash our dishes, or pull out that rickety old ladder
and, even at seventy, she’d climb to the top, and clean our ceiling fan.
She left behind doilies and sheets
her mothers handkerchief and the one she carried
the day she got married.
She left these for me.
She was a pilot, a captain, a military commander
an army wife, raising three sons across the entire country.
She came from an old family
the blood that ran through her veins―
and still runs through mine―we can trace to Daniel Boone.
We’re made of the same stubborn stuff
and I never felt that close to her
until my momma pointed that out.
We had the same style, but for me,
what is vintage and cool, and feels like it fits
that was just how she lived her life.
When her pastor said she was a foster mom…
I was mad.
Mad that no one had told me that before.
Mad that no one seemed to appreciate how big that is.
Mad that I can never tell her
that since I was seven, I wanted to be a foster mom
and that every time I say that,
someone says I’ll be good at it.
That I know where I got it,
that I, like her, will cry at every goodbye.
Even though I never believed that she had cried before.
Dear Grandma,I’ll try to keep my room clean,
that will…probably improve with time.
I’ll keep the linens starched and folded neatly
I’ll carry your handkerchief on my wedding day
and someday my granddaughter
will relish the courage passed from you