Today would have been my grandmother’s birthday. Happy birthday, Mammaw.
A granddaughter asks …
Some time when you are yourself
again, before heaven comes for you
and you’ve said all you’re going to say
tell the secrets you know about girls
and women and why we cannot and can
unfix and fix everything while someone
else waits, or pushes
or falls away, and why didn’t you ever say
sewing is solemn when done for the last
child or first and the talk of chores
becomes sacred curses in throats gone
gravelly from singing and thirst? Will we forever
look for what used to be ours?
Why did we ever loan it
then take it back after letting someone and everyone
else cut it to fit one size, down to size
or up to the mark, swapped over
and over, worn out
from coveting, cherishing, being lost
or trashed for duty’s sake or beauty’s
lure or whatever, whenever it happened ago?
Was yours worth no more than a pear tree’s leaves
stolen fearlessly in children’s play,
numerous, waxy tangibles
good things to trade for kisses?
(from String Quilt, poems by Suzanne Baldwin Leitner, Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2005)