For My Grandma

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

to me

to her.

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2 thoughts on “For My Grandma

  1. Sheri says:

    Wow…for such a young lady…you can write things to make someone old like me cry!!! What a beautiful writing you have here…your grandmother is looking down from heavan SMILING!

  2. PJ Laurell says:

    i love this, Haley… i love that you have continued to write for all of these years… i love that your love for grandma is so intimately expressed in your memories of her that all of us who read this now wish we had known her, too… thank you so much for sharing this with us

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