Friday, March 12, 2010

Thirty years

Sometimes being nine was hard
But when I saw your beige van—
My chariot—in our driveway
Nine was right where I wanted to be
And everything about you
Was just right:
Your white shoes
Your white belt
Your Old Spice
Your pink shirt
Your Frank Sinatra eight tracks

But most of all
It was your way of announcing
My entrance:
“This is my granddaughter”
With an implied
With whom I am well pleased
And your way of proclaiming,
Affirming my desires:
“Give her whatever she wants”
She deserves whatever she wants

You were the one
Who thought I was perfect
And deserved donuts for dinner
And to stay up past Johnny Carson
And to dip my French fries
In whatever I wanted
“You’re Number One,”
You would whisper
“No one else is.
No one else could be.”
It was just you and just me.

A few years ago
Thirty-nine was really, really hard
And I mourned the possibility
Of your van in my driveway
And felt deeply, truly sorry
For myself
But then I ruined the moment
By looking at your picture
And then looking in the mirror
And seeing the lines of holy obligation
Running over your face
And then mine
“This is my granddaughter,”
You whispered.
Now get up off the floor and start acting like it.

This was in response to readwritepoem's prompt #117.

11 comments:

  1. Nice one, Erin.

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  2. Beautiful, Erin! And so true: the memories of the attention of a proud and doting grandfather; the trepidation with one's own approaching middle age; the realization of the relation of age and memory - Marvelous!

    I especially savored these lines:

    By looking at your picture
    And then looking in the mirror
    And seeing the lines of holy obligation
    Running over your face

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  3. Erin,
    You may be late in posting but certainly not in your talent. What a wonderfully, beautiful tribute to your grandfather. I love this poem and especially this last part:
    "This is my granddaughter,”
    You whispered.
    Now get up off the floor and start acting like it."
    Thanks so much for sharing this!
    Pamela

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  4. I like the time capsule image of Grandpa with old spice and pink shirts.Lovely imagery and poem.

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  5. Beautiful. it reminded me that both my grandfathers were men who loved me the best of all men. I lost them both very young.
    xoxo

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  6. Great poem! I like the way you present the relationship--very touching.

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  7. Oh I love this! The form and everything about it is so great! I think of my own grandparents now in a way I had not...

    E Stelling
    http://tmi-chef.blogspot.com/

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  8. Left me nearly breathless, Erin. You were so lucky to have that relationship with a grandfather and this is a beautiful tribute to the strong love between you.

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  9. Well spun - I enjoy these reflections. Thanks for sharing them.

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