Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Grandmas in Church by, Myself

The piano tins-out of tune,
background to hymns sung
in the temporary church
of linoleum and folding chairs

Volunteers put the shiny metal chairs
brown and flaked,
in neat rows across the
drab-gray floor

Grandma sits, fur collar at
her neck, topping an
ancient, brown wool coat

“Would you like some gum?”
she whispers at my ear
and drops a piece into my
pink, plastic wicker purse

The ageing congregation sings
How Great Thou Art!
a cacophonous rumble

Grandma can’t sing
her voice has always been weak
She whispers loudly at me

about things that nannas
and little girls share,
like not singing hymns in a
temporary, basement church
on a cold Oregon Coast morn

Grandma’s wearing big earrings, gold and
glittery, the clip-on kind
I want to reach up and pluck
one from her ear

Her open purse smells
like Kleenex as she rummages
for more candy

I long to pet the lacquered glaze of
Grandma’s Final-Net hair
the two of us are immune to
stares as Grandma tries singing

again, her voice, a scratchy croak
leaving drops of spittle on the
linoleum floor to be
mopped away by those
serviceable volunteers

Her breath smells like
pie dough, we are in church



Megs said...

this is very good Karen!
my favourite line is:
"the two of us are immune to
stares as Grandma tries singing"

oooh, party on the 7th now!!!

love m

Pete said...

I want a gum too! he he he.....interesting line about the gum. Nice poem!

Dawn said...

This is really wonderful Karen! I love the intimacy, the imagery. I have been bad about reading blogs of late...but glad I got pulled into this one. Hope you are well sweet friend. Still wish you were on facebook=)