Friday, January 6, 2017

She Wasn't A Complainer

Today's poem (The Writer's Almanac) made me think so much of my Grandma Delphia. This photo was taken in 1962 - two years after she became a widow. Grandma never wore slack or jeans, always a dress. But during Grandpa's final years, when she had taken over more and more of the chores, she fashioned a denim skirt made from a pair or two of jeans to wear while she cared for her beloved hogs.

Complaint by James Wright

She's gone. She was my love, my moon or more.
She chased the chickens out and swept the floor,
Emptied the bones and nut-shells after feasts,
And smacked the kids for leaping up like beasts.
Now morbid boys have grown past awkwardness;
The girls let stitches out, dress after dress,
To free some swinging body's riding space
And form the new child's unimagined face.
Yet, while vague nephews, spitting on their curls,
Amble to pester winds and blowsy girls,
What arm will sweep the room, what hand will hold
New snow against the milk to keep it cold?
And who will dump the garbage, feed the hogs,
And pitch the chickens' heads to hungry dogs?
Not my lost hag who dumbly bore such pain:
Childbirth at midnight sassafrass and rain.
New snow against her face and hands she bore,
And now lies down, who was my moon or more.

Grandma was one tough woman. "They don't make them like her anymore."
Said with love, respect and very fond memories.

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