Friday, September 17, 2010

Grandma Jackson

I resurrected my poem about Grandma for the Poets United prompt by Mary Kling.

Her arms engulf me in greeting as she
holds me against her ample bosom. I can
smell the Tabu and the hard day’s work on
her flesh. She has on her navy-checked cotton
dress that has been line-dried and starched
in the sink before she put the iron to it.

She finagles her vast body into her worn green
vinyl lounge chair and sighs to let me know
all is not well with her or many others.
She picks at her cuticles as she worries
about me, family, friends, and the world situation.

She punctuates my update with “Well…”
as she shakes her freshly permed head and fills
our space with the odor of ammonia, the mole on
her chin moves as she tells me how much she
misses me, how much she loves me, how she hopes
I have a good relationship with God.

Beside her on the cheap, clanky folding table
sits her favorite Bible, highlighted and
bookmarked, the worn edges beginning to curl
up. There’s a notebook with a yellow No. 2 pencil
she uses to jot down visitors names. She checks
her notes, riffles through the pages. “Not as
many came today as they did last Wednesday.
I had 52 visitors last week but I won‘t have
that many this week. “Then I smell the biscuits
baking and I walk into the kitchen.

I notice the incline towards the back porch is
steeper the floors creak with each step. There’s
always something cooking on the stove as if she
had a sixth sense about people coming. I half
the fluffy biscuits and add some of her fresh
churned butter and the blackberry jam she put up
last summer and we feast. Grandma died 13 years
ago but I can still see her there on Highland Drive
standing by the screen door with her arms outstretched.

9 comments:

Mary said...

This is a wonderful portrait of your grandmother. I can picture her, smell her (the Tabu), and hear her. That is the way I picture grandmas -- always having something cooking on the stove.

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

Judy,
I enjoyed your tribute to your grandmother, very much indeed. I felt like, I too would have enjoyed time spent in her company.
I loved the mention of Tabu perfume!
A very sincere and loving account.
I am now following your Blogs Judy.
Best wishes,
Eileen

Diane T said...

Your grandmother will live in your heart and mind forever now through this poem. You have written so many details of her, really made her alive to the reader! I even think I can hear her voice!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wonderful! My grandma was very special to me too. I so enjoyed this "visit" with her - the details are so comprehensive that we are able to learn much about her without it being spelled out. Wonderfully, evocatively done!

Dasuntoucha said...

Enjoyed this picture you painted of your Grandma...I could see her clear as day in my mind...thanks for sharing (^_^)

Victoria said...

Tabu and hard day's work - theology and visitors and divine biscuits and green vinyl. I like all the juxtapositions Judy, the kinds of details that make us all real.

Systematic Weasel said...

This is a wonderful tribute to your family member! Very much enjoyed reading this! =)

-Weasel

theimaginativetraveler said...

A beautifully described portrait of you grandmother! We could picture her vividly, and recognize familiar traits echoed in our own grandmothers! A stellar piece...

Lynette

Ellie said...

So vivid, reminds me of my grandmother and her last name was Jackson ;-D Her biscuits were light and heavenly~

A tribute of heart touchstones, the warmth, the sadness, the worry all mingled with love~ Wonderful!