Our Gran

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