You with your tidy box of tales a potted journey spanning wars momentous histories pocketed like clean handkerchiefs into the day by days, by decades; all eight of them. Big hands that defied the devil's work frequently floured, lathered or gloved (always wool or cotton for excursions). Conjuring home in steamy odours; cooking pots with rattling lids Monday's soapy boiler, and cakes sponged with jam, that magically rose in time for tea. Evenings we sucked peppermints and learned to sew and knit whilst you cabled jumpers, darned holes pushed yards of cloth through the Singer which chugged like the sound of trains tracking behind the park. From the library came books, stacks of them nothing too highbrow; histories, biographies mostly travellers' tales for crossing the globe by rocking chair. Sucked into the silence of a husband's small, deaf world pouring out snatches of song childhood chronicles and a love that had no voice. Only the feel of a blanket, cosseting and warm against the harsh realities we all knew.
A biographical tale for Sarah’s Poetics prompt: “Grandmothers“
47 thoughts on “Our Gran”
Oh, you know that grandmother peppermint taste as well… so much to love in this.
peppermints or treacle toffees – thanks Born. A poem about love
Clean handkerchiefs – I remember them! We used to give them to my grandmother at Christmas with a little bottle of her favourite scent, Your gran is so similar to mine, Laura. I love this poem
boiled and ironed on Mondays before tissues – thank you Kim – they were a generation I wish we had not lost
Oh, I loved this poem so much. The sound of the Singer as your Gran sewed… that really took me back.
Yes, it was a treadle peddle. I can hear the clickety-clack… at least my gran, old machine sounded like that.
I love this Laura. Such a vivid, sensory portrait. That final stanza is especially poignant.
thank you Merrill – I think my grandmother would appreciate it because I strived for a lack of sentimentality!
You’re welcome, Laura.
And that just adds to the portrait. 🙂
Well, near an engraving for its dimensionality and ability to invoke that iconic person – grandmother. Was many years afore I realized not all grandmothers were as ideal as was mine. Rude realization. Yours here fits that first engaging silouette. Nicely done.
you were fortunate too then Neil – I particularly liked the notion of an engraving for this poem – thank you
I love that ending. My granny offered that warmth and safety, too. How lucky we are! I liked those big hands “defying the devil’s work”.
thank you for the prompt Sarah which enabled our grandmothers to live again here
Beautiful Laura. I am conjuring up the grandmother I never had, borrowing from the memories being shared for this prompt.
a sad lack Rob – thank you for your comment though
Me too – I have to invent my grandmothers, the London one from novels, and snippets from my mother. The New Zealand one left no tales – but a thank you letter for a journey together before my father emigrated (to London …
I remember when handerchiefs were cotton, and girls and women wore white gloves. All the proprieties back then, before the world spun off into life without any at all. I enjoyed every line of your poem.
many thanks Sherry – these were more genteel times
Everything a grandchild could wish for. (K)
indeed! especially small ones in need of a home
Echoing K., your grandmother left you with the sweetest (and most industrious) of memories. Lovely, Laura.
yes that struck me as I wrote – the industry of her days
I like the textured fabric of your telling, Laura.
nice way of putting Lisa – thanks Lisa
Wow. I totally get this. My father was almost deaf…
I could write volumes on what that was/is like for him and the family around but managed 44 words way back here:
Thank you for sharing this – it’s very vivid, emotionally. Beautiful.
and thank you for reading – you will inevitably understand and resonate
Oh! this is lovely, Laura. 🙂
thank you ❤
I love the last stanza.
thanks for your appreciation Reena
Such a heartfelt poem Laura. I could visualise your grandmother. Sadly only one of mine was alive when I was born and she died when I was six so I have no real memories of her. I remember as a child I was always envious of my friends who used to visit their granny for Sunday tea.
I’m glad you can picture her Jude – her teas were some of the best I’ve tasted even though I’ve had quite a few at Fortnum’s since!
The handkerchiefs were folded in triangles 😊
Luv your grandmother poem Laura
The books, the peppermints, and sewing lessons…how wonderful to remember her well!
prompted so many memories Lynn
Grandmothers are the best for children. The gap stays as a favorite memory for ages to come. Singer Sewing Machines. That pedal sound: I know it so well from my mother’s sewing that lulled us to sleep. thanks for sharing this loveliness. Blessing you
my pleasure Selma – thanks for your feedback
Oh the images this poem evokes! Both imaginary and ones from my own grandmothers; just wonderful.
thank you so much Kiki- just goes to show that grandmothers/großmütter are the same the world over
Full of warmth and love!
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