For Grandma

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
July/August 2007

By Sayre White

You drank
hot water
from a chipped mug.
It was so boiling,
that it would have scalded
my tongue.
But you loved it.
I loved the Eggo waffles
that I’ve never
had without you;
for me they are only
there
in your warm house,
with the rain
pouring
behind the large window,
as it often does
in Olympia.

I remember your soft
freckled hands,
the skin loose and wrinkled,
but still strong,
patiently untangling
my wet hair
with that purple
comb I loved,
as we looked
at Ranger Rick magazines,
and pictures
of Mom’s diving days.
You answered
my millions of questions,
and read me
thousands of books
in your rich voice,
on that green plaid couch,
that has since been moved
from your house to mine.

I curled in your lap
and your loud laugh
shook your large frame
along with my small one,
making me giggle
and fold myself deeper
into your well-cushioned arms
until I could feel
your heart against my
wiry back.
I didn’t know then,
that someday soon
that heart would fail.

I wish you could see
me now,
Grandma,
see my life
and how I’ve grown.
I want to show you
the work that I’ve done,
and together
we could read the poetry
that I’ve come to love.
But you were gone
too soon.
Gone before
I could say
goodbye,
gone before
you could truly see
the granddaughter
you barely knew.

For Grandma Sayre White

Sayre White,13
Missoula, Montana

About the Author

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