Mamma and Granny

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.

803 Monroe


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

fleshy perfection.


(First published in Mad Swirl.)

Wishing you all a wonderful Mothers Day!

Granny and me
Granny and me
Mamma and me

4 thoughts on “Mamma and Granny

  1. 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.
    Anna :o]


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