For My Granny

OakTrillium
Posted March 26, 2018

For my Granny

 

I remember your soft skin

Like the fuzzy ripe raspberries

That always remind me of you

Your face leaning close

An island of safety

Amidst a scary childhood

Of torture and shame 

Like the ring

Stuck on your finger

Because you had so often

Cracked your knuckles

Well worn circle of love

Amidst the pain

Embedded in those joints

Cracking

Cracking

Cracking

Over and over again

To keep you sane

 

Hiding in the cookie cupboard

A smell I will never forget

In there armidst the cookie tins

Full of raisin cinnamon soft sugar cookies

 

Making cookies together

With you

I invented my first cookie recipe

Chewy vanilla cookies

That you pretended were delicious

 

Safety in the sweetness

You managed to contain

In your kitchen

In stark contrast to the nights of pain

You were the one

Tender place in my childhood

I just wanted to stay

In your cookie cupboard forever

 

Whether you were conscious

Of what happened

To the children 

Under your care

Or not

It has taken me 57 years

To receive your love

57 years to receive your soft touch

The only safe touch 

I knew

As a child

So rare

So fleeting

I let it go moldy

Like the wild raspberries

Abandoned

On the outskirts of my garden

 

You kept a bowl

Of plastic grapes

In the entryway

To your home

I used to choose one

That I hoped wouldn't be missed

And suck on it

Feeling its suction on my tongue as it stuck fast

And popped off

You cracked your knuckles

As I chewed plastic fruit

Somehow we both

Made it through

 

You let me wear your 

rich lady decoration

Your dead mink

Around my neck 

A child's source of comfort

The only wildlife in my childhood

I liked the way

Its teeth bit its tail

In front of my heart

And stuck fast

As I chewed my plastic grapes

And wandered aimlessly about the empty house

 

You gave me peanuts to feed the squirrels

Who ran up onto the porch railing

To eat from my hand

 

We walked to the corner store together 

There you got me candy

And we visited the poodles at another old woman's house

On the way back

 

I felt most at home in your garden

Where you tended your lovely Phlox flowers

The scent of those flowers and the smell of your cookie cupboard will always remind me of you

If you could've done something to stop them

I truly believe

You would have

But either you didn't know (denial)

Or you could not imagine what to do (truth)

Except bake cookies

 

You are my ancestor now 

I can claim you

 

As I chew

On this leftover raspberry seed

Stuck in a back tooth

I believe

I will plant it for you

Comments 3

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Jill Langhus
Mar 26, 2018
Mar 26, 2018

Hi Oak Trillium. What a lovely tribute to your beloved Grandma. I could've done with one of her kind as well:) She sounds lovely and I love all the descriptive memories, like the cookies, and her scent. You could almost smell those referential memories.

Tamarack Verrall
Mar 16
Mar 16

Hi Sister,
It was easy to float with your poem, happy for you that you had at least you granny's softness and many ways that she was able to show you she loved you. How healing that you can let it in and honour our her through your lovely poem.

Hugs,
Tam

Jacqueline Namutaawe

Hey Oaktrillium thank you for the poem to your grandma. Yeah I live with my grandma and they are lovely people the blues are there but nowadays I shrug them off and enjoy the journey.