Sunday, November 1, 2009

Grandma Pisces

In Africa there were animal skins
On her wooden floors, a sausage dog,
And descendants everywhere
Her parents were Quakers
She went to reform school
Which she ran from often
She abhorred birds in cages
Grandpa would feed wild ones
Every day at dawn
She taught me the stories
Behind nursery rhymes
Which applied to both of us
As we both got into scrapes
We would read books in bed
As soon as I woke her
She was a teacher in her time
With a genius IQ of 150
They called her "Fiercy Piercy"
When we emigrated
We lost touch, for a while
When she came, it wasn't the same
A great chasm of communication
Gaped in the gaze, a generation gap
Another time, a different place
Change of culture, changing face
She grumbled and complained
Disapproved oppressively
Because she wasn't what
She seemed to have become
Her real nature was a different sort
Her youthful extremes
Had aged her extremely
She inadvertently taught me
More in death than life
Like a bird flight, and the bird's love
Guided her, between Earth and above
I observed her journey, like a borrowed eye
I have a reference book of memory
Where I learn, from the past, what works
And what doesn't: prices payed, lessons learnt
Skills acquired; And I wonder at her
Hidden life, a wild child of passing ships
Must have wandered into Mysteries
Dark, and light, grounded, and flight
She rang me somehow, blind,
Ending high on a tuneless whistle
She passed like a dreamer's memory
Like an ancient battle of a dying age
It was the turning of a new page
Cruelly leaving orphans
Lost and grieving
The bird is young and free
Once more, I am sure.

Margaret Pierce RIP, 2005?


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