Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Elegy

For My Grandma, Beth by Maddie Hall

Fondly lingering in memory
are those long-winded afternoons
sipping red Gatorade
from dollar store cups
as we breathed;
breathed deeply
the freshness of Pine Sol
mopped linoleum.

Your wisdom poured
and poured,
warmth to a chilled
cracked heart.
Hands marked by age,
fingers loaded with jewels--
lined with crevices,
yet so beautiful,
full of grace.

Every afternoon spent,
listening, laughing, eating,
egg drop soup.
You in your pink satin,
me in my faded jeans.

Your white feathery halo--
glistening--
through it beams,
glints and gleams,
of strength, courage, faith,
an "Everything
will be okay."

Entombed I hear your,
"I love you."
The words shine,
unexpectedly tying,
pink ribbons
on our afternoons--
the ones where
soft, pungent,
gardenia blossoms hovered
over your hands.

Our last afternoon,
wrapped in traces
of sterile hospital coolness,
glowed with ethereal blues,
and I wore sparkly shoes
filling the emptiness
of your jewels.

Between each hand's fold,
I felt death.
His frost brimmed through
each crevice,
but your hands were
still warm, still offering
charity to a granddaughter.

In that last hour with you,
suddenly our memories
floated me back,
to lunch,
to sweet and sour chicken
between your painted lips;
the sharpness of Pine Sol
stinging our lungs.

I can still see your clear eyes,
and your wisdom
soothes my troubles--
melts them away.

Every time I sip red Gatorade,
I pour two dollar-store cups.
One for me, one for you.

Reaching between
the furrows of our memories,
Pine Sol greets my nose;
I breathe deeply,
and hear it sing,
"'Till then, my sweet."

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