Saturday, March 01, 2008

Stay awhile

I wrote this Thursday night about my Grandmother. She recently broke her hip and is in the hospital. She is 87. I've been sitting with her some, feeding her and holding her hand. She's so frail. She's always been so strong and independent. Her husband, Elsie, died of a massive heart attack when he was 42. She never remarried because she said simply, she never found anyone else who could fill his shoes. She raised six children and endured the heartbreaking loss of her youngest son ten years ago. She's a breast cancer survivor. A heart disease survivor.

Strong willed and oh, so opinionated...sometimes she seems a bit calloused because it's hard to see her soft side buried underneath all her grit and determination. But it's there...I love you, Grandma.

Here's to strong, surviving, independent women.

Matriarch

Beside your sterile bed, I pull up an uncomfortable, green chair.

Not a lush green, not a green that screams of vibrant life and birth,
but a sad excuse for a green.
Tell Crayola that hospital green should be it's official name,
washed out and devoid of it's greeness.
You color is gone, too.
Your hand rests limply in mine,
and how is it that your skin, once as taut as a trampoline,
stretched from spring to spring, has multiplied?
There's too much of it now.
It gathers in folds around your knuckles and on the top
of your hand. A forked royal, purple vein runs
the length of it, from the wrist to somewhere between
your middle and ring finger.
It fades away there.
Your rings are gone from those fingers.
Your silver wedding band and the other one...
the one with six, colorful birthstones all in a row
for each of your children.
I want to find them and put them back where
they belong, dress you up and curl your thinning, hair.
Fill out your cheek bones with the coral you love.
Stay awhile longer, Grandma.
You haven't told me all of your stories and
I haven't made the time to listen to them.
I promise to pay attention and fill in the blanks
with colorful details and vibrant greens.
Stay awhile longer.

1 comment:

Diahn said...

Beautiful poem, Mo. I'm sorry your Grandma is having to go through that.

You paint such imagery with your words...really wonderfully well done. It's beautiful without being pretty...do you know what I mean?