I’ve written many poems about my mother in the past few years but they’re all about her time in ICU before she died in 2012. It was a sorrowful, stressful time and I tend to write more when I’m melancholy. I was looking through them to find one to post today for Mothers Day but they’re all sad except for this one. It’s short (my preferred form) but it refers to a basic truth that I only recognized after her death.
You were the divining rod
of my life long
before I even knew you,
when I was still awash
in warmth and wonder,
oblivious and safe,
and didn’t know
I needed finding.
The next poem was written a couple of years ago from a dream I had about my Granny, my mother’s mother. I loved Granny’s house with its big front porch with a view of the beautiful purple Sacramento mountains. Going to New Mexico to visit are some of my favorite memories. I recently saw a photo of granny’s house and it’s been changed so much it doesn’t even resemble what it used to be. It broke my heart.
I needed to call you but
I’d forgotten your number,
the one I always thought
was burned into my memory —
for hours I anxiously thumbed through
white and yellow pages, forgetting
then remembering your name.
Between the pages I could see
your dining room, the floor
tile cracked like a spider’s
web, the old fridge where
all your kids stood before the
open door to feel the frigid
air on desperately hot days
while upstairs pretty ladies on
a calendar lounged without a
drop of sweat to mar their
(First published in Mad Swirl.)
Wishing you all a wonderful Mothers Day!
4 thoughts on “Mamma and Granny”
These are beautiful Charlotte, especially the words to your mother – I read it several times and could perhaps read it for ever and still be in awe of it.
Thank you so much, Anna. Good to see you here!
These were both beautiful and touching. Loved the memories while flipping through the pages. Great images. Love, Mosk