Poem: “Not Goodbye”

I’ve been thinking a lot about Grandma these past few days. It might have something to do with the fact that I was up at her house this July 4th, or rather…it’s my uncle’s house now…

Which is something that I don’t think any of us will ever get used to saying.  It is difficult because every holiday, every special occasion was celebrated at Grandma’s house. When you lose the matriarch of the family, how do you go on? How do you take sad memories that used to be happy and put them back together again? When everything that reminds you of her, feels so…empty? Anyway, wrote this last night:

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Not Goodbye

I remember my grandma’s poppies;

bright orange-red flowers and

Bright green stems; their petals iridescent,

like glitter on your fingertips

like you’ve been touched by

butterfly wings

 

Every year they would bloom

and every year they would die

mowed over until just the bristles remain

“They’ll come back next spring,”

my mother told me,

But to me it felt like a bad joke.

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I think about love

how it doesn’t really go away

after you’ve lost someone special

 

Instead, it grows,

becomes that sadness

that labors in your chest

 

You cling to symbols:

old pictures, a key chain

a necklace she probably never wore

You tell yourself: “these things really mattered”

 

But, what you should be harboring

are the memories

the tokens of life’s joys and heartbreak

 

Dear Grandma:

Your house still smells like you

it misses the joyful, “hellos,” that echo

and hugs that used to

smoosh my glasses up into my nose;

 

I look out your bathroom window

I can still see your clothes

on the line, blowing in the wind

 

I can see all the picnics, all the weddings, all

the graduations, all the Christmas’s

will anyone every throw crumpled

wrapping paper at me again?

 

But still, I’ll remember,

when the trees grow,

when the family members become

more strangers than friends

I’ll remember that your house

is you, and this land

still hums with your presence

 

and your family is still here

and I am still here and this feels like goodbye,

but how could it be?

 

How could it be?

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3 thoughts on “Poem: “Not Goodbye”

  1. You my dear summed everything up as the way I have been feeling this past week. I read this and I finally cried for the first time since she has been gone. Love you so much Miss Manders. Aunt Deb

    • aww, thank you aunt deb for reading, and It’s right from the heart, and I’m glad I could help in some way…I’ve been feeling this for awhile and feel it every time we go back to the house and to hang out like we always used to to. It’s never going to be the same again, and its so sad. Love you, *hugs.*

  2. Pingback: Happy Mother’s Day, Grandma…I Miss You | The Writer's Hub

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