Saturday, 5 March 2011

Carrying my grandmother in my marrow

My grandmother

My writing has forced me to think about my family members at length. Yesterday, I couldn't get my grandmother out of my head. 

Visitation is one of my favourite poems. It's about a family preparing a grandmother for her own funeral. It gives me a warm feeling to think that my grandmother is being carried lightly in my marrow.

Visitation by Rosie King

We dress you in purple silk,
pearls in gold shells at your ears.

We sing to you, pray
to be led beside the still waters.

At nightfall, as we leave you,
rain pours over black umbrellas.

One grandchild, tall as her mother,
stands on the steps holding lilies,

her own face
wet with rain,

her own way of looking
into the night: free ...

you're free now,
she murmurs;

lightly, in the marrow,
she carries you.


Nicholas said...

I'm fortunate not to have to 'prepare' my grandmother for her funeral. She fell off the stairs and that was it. But I guess 'preparation' is like sending off someone on the bus or airplane.

Mary Schneider said...

Hi Nic,

My goodness. Your poor grandmother. What a terrible way to go. That must have been a shock to everyone.


Autumn Belle said...

Black and white photos always brings back a lot of memories and they tell a story. I have fond memories of my grandma, an illiterate person who had taught me much more than books and/or modern teachers can ever do.

Maybe you have some features that resemble her?