My grandma wore a blue apron with white snowflakes in winter
Stopping all hands of time with the power of one word


The scent of herbs and spices and meats
The aroma of cherries in pies and peaches in cobblers
Have sent many a tummy rumbling
The food-laden table is renaissance worthy artistry
I and the rest of us really young ones jump up and down
Trying to get one small view of it all
Before it, like the holidays, was all-too-soon a thing of the past

The pre-teen me whines at my pitiful carving efforts
“Don’t worry; it will all turn out alright.”
Her soft cooing voice promises
Delft-blue veined hands
Which smelled either of Palmolive or Jergen’s
Deftly handle the paring knife with precision
Turning fruits and vegetables into edible blossoms
That will decorate the meals
Precision were her fingers
She wipes on her yellow-blossomed apron for spring
And I recalled the crucial fact
That she once studied to be a doctor

“This was not at all
What I planned for my life
Not the life I dreamt to live, but
The hugs from my grandchildren and
The love they bring
There’s nothing as delightful, dear”
She rocks in her chair under the huge oak
Children wandering all about
Chasing fireflies in the back yard
The air  fragrant with the herbal of  fresh-cut lawn
She smiles benignly looking on
At the latest family additions
And I know there was not a thing
That she regretted or would change
Folding the blueberry print summer apron in her lap
An unconscious signal she’s done for the evening

As time goes by
I’d listen with a most attentive ear
Because no one is interested in such mundane things
As sitting by a tree– but sit I would
First on her lap, then at her knee,
Then by her side, all the while thinking
A moment so still, will just mess up my mind

“Hush now sleep for twilight falls”
Is sung soft, soft as the arms that now rock my young
The same soft arms that once rocked me
Having no way of knowing my baby
Would be the last one held
Within the April Downy fresh scented ruffles
That trimmed her favorite red and gold autumn apron

And I’m forced into the reality
That despite her heavenly ways
She’s naught, but real flesh and blood and bone and feeling
And I am alone with my cravings
For the youthful girl with Swan’s Down cake flour on her nose
And a dab of grandma’s Chantilly behind the ear
Standing at her grandma’s elbow
Listening most attentively

You have been so gentle, so kind,
You gave me memories to last ever after
I can tell you, I feel a smile form on my face
As  I am thankful for the time
I get to spend with family and friends
These precious moments though brief they may be
They are near and dear
And as the sands of life shall run
I am now much older and wiser
With my own grand ones standing at my elbow
Watching Brown Betty -well- brown,  in the oven
The smell of apples and butter and cinnamon and brown sugar
Watering their young mouths
As I tie on my white winter apron with blue and silver snowflakes


Abhra has given us Food for Thought as the prompt at dVerse.  Normally I would create something new, and I may yet do so if time prevails, but I was immediately put to mind of this old write laden with food and heart and I had to post it.

dVerse ~Poets Pub | Poetics : Food For Thought

Theme Thursday | Scents

36 thoughts on “Grandma

  1. What a poet you are, weaving words and symbolism and imagery into a memory filled with visions and smells and feelings growing up. I want to be that little girl with the grandmother & her aprons of many colors and seasons. I want to peek over the dining room table to see what bounty is therein. Just a beautiful beautiful poem.

  2. Brings back so many memories. I’m still blessed with mine making me fried balogna sandwiches when I’m cold and hungry or feeling down.
    Chantilly is her favorite too. ❤

  3. Lovely valentine. My Meme smelled like Jergans. I wanted some of her succotash reading this and one of my Grandma’s Sunday dinners. Thanks for the memories.

  4. You truly were blessed with a wonderful Grandma and to have spent so much time with her. I wish so much that I had those experiences but sadly did not. So I have always tried to be the grandma that I wish I had. Life is so short and we truly have no idea of how much time we have to spend with our loved ones but it does seem like your grandma made every minute count. She must have loved you all so very much.

    It is funny in that you think you can never love anyone as much as you love your own children, and then along comes the grandchildren and with it comes such a love that you never knew you had. And it seems that only Grandparents understand what that means. They say that it is because we do not have the burden of responsibility as we do with our own kids and so it is just pure love. And love is what it truly is.

    Thanks for such a great story and I am sure that one of your grandkids will write such a story about you. This was so sweet of you to share this with this weeks Theme Thursday. May your weekend be filled with lots of loving memories with your grandkids.

    God bless.

    • I have such a love of comments like these, for it means I have done my job as storyteller, to elicit such warm response. Yet I also feel a tad fraudulent in the bargain. I pen a lot in first person, however the stories told can be as much my real life, or as in the case of this write, purely a figment of my muses rich imagination. As I can see from the above comments, this grandma, while not like mine, is a fair representation of others. I can only hope to be to so good of a grandmother someday, to inspire such.

      Thank you. Mrs. U.

  5. Whether real or not, this grandma certainly has captured our hearts and our imagination. (I had two that were pretty close to this…) Great storytelling and recreation of atmosphere!

  6. Nice of you to Fess-up about the sweet fabrication. I agree, for many of us write in the first person, & it is impossible to tell what is real & what is imagined based on the filters, experience, & Muse of the moment. This is epic Grandma poetics, for sure, & your seasonal aprons, & descriptions of her, dovetail the piece perfectly. A fine job, re-posted or otherwise, rocking the prompt like a tornado. My grandfather was the subject of a dozen of my poems in the past.

  7. My mother used to use the Jergens hand lotion and you described the perfect grandmother…both of mine were like this..storybook examples which I am forever indebted to for their legacies of love and understanding. Nice evocative poem about food ..

    • Ah Claudia, thanks. While this Grandma is a work of fiction on my part, she is certainly the real deal for several who have commented here. Blessed souls all of them that know such a woman as fact.

  8. I have very few memories of my grandmother – but your piece brings them out so beautifully, helping a lot of tender moments float up….very well done, so much richness you weave in here.

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