Monday, December 7, 2015

Poem of the Day: “Your Great Grandma” by Norma Wilson

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Your Great Grandma” by Norma Wilson.  A brief bio of Professor Wilson may be found here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/2015/12/poem-of-day-mummies-above-guanajuato-by.html.

Your Great Grandma
Norma Wilson
for Laura
 
The Christmas I was six,
Aunt Nell bought matching dresses
of red, green and white plaid
from the Sears Catalogue
for my sister and me.

Grandma spread them
on a large sheet of paper
and drew patterns.
She cut out the pieces,
pinned them to yellow fabric,
and made two more dresses,
each a size larger, with pockets,
for Dianne and me.

Remember the plaid dress
you wore for kindergarten graduation?
You wore the yellow one too.
Now it’s faded,
with a heart-shaped patch on the skirt.

The last time I saw Grandma,
she couldn’t leave her bed.
I wanted her to meet you, so I laid
you beside her and said,

I loved those blackberry pies
you baked in the woodstove.
The thorns scratched as I followed
you, squeezing through bushes
to pick the berries.  But those
were the best pies I ever ate.

Grandma no longer spoke,
but her hand reached over
to gently hold mine.

Poet’s Notes:  A dozen years ago I was delighted when my Aunt Nancy gave me another dress Grandma had made while she still lived on the farm.  It’s the shirtwaist style she always wore, and when I tried it on I found that it fit me.  Someday I may write a poem about that one.

Editor’s Note:  What a beautiful story in verse this is, as well as a touching elegy.  The metaphor of the blackberry pie, for me standing for love and pain, is breathtaking.  “Your Great Grandma,” was first published as as “Grandma” in Black Hills Literary Journal: The Family Issue (Black Hills Writers Group, 2014).

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