Today's little poem is about my grandmother, who took me into her care when I was two years old and guided me until I was 18 ... when I went into military service ... and even beyond.
I still feel that gentle hand in the small of my back.
Times were not just hard, but really tough, requiring frugality with those few material things which came her way. Still, those circumstances seemed to inspire in her an exceeding generosity.
She knew that others had needs greater than hers. She accepted the fact that her good works might be received without thanks.
And she didn't talk much about "those distant places," but I know she dreamed about them sometimes, especially those where her children were.
She did get to visit them, but she never got to be there, as she would say, never got to "pull up and settle down" there.
It was simply not to be. And she accepted that, too.
How I love her, for all the things she taught me ... for all the butterflies she pointed out to me ... and paused to watch with me.
And now, the poem:
How she'd say
nothing is ever lost,
pieces of string,
each carefully coiled,
or a rubber band
snapped around her wrist,
her good works received
of those distant places
where she dreamed things
were better, where she
hoped to be someday,
but never was.© 1997
(originally published in Riverrun)
Today's word: guided