Letter to the world about grandma

Written today, this poem comes as it is. It might be part of a series, it might be just a one off. If you read it all, you will understand why. 

the whiff of hot cocoa milk and a strange little childhood in a communist flat

the whiff of hot cocoa milk two furry faces stooping over my nose
hot smelly breaths between teeth grinning in joy
and her voice
calling from the door

every morning for about 17 years
began so

except for the dogs
the two Pekinese creatures inhabited the flat
since my teenage years only

but she was always there
her reassuring robust figure around the kitchen table
her agile fingers always engaged in the knitting
making pretty table cloths doilies and lacery
for me
sometimes colourful scarfs jumpers and socks
to keep my feet warm in the freezing Romanian winters
– they didn’t always work
my toes tended to turn into ice lollies anyway –

her fingers could once play the guitar and the piano
two beautiful things she never afforded herself
but she loved music and poetry
and even went out once for coffee and cake with a poet
“he spoke such beautiful soft words”
she told me
but she never cheated on grandad

and wherever she went so did her silly jokes
like fluff floating about and itching your nose
and although almost annoying it still makes you laugh
then laugh again
at how senseless it is to get upset with such
harmless giddy things

her simple words
taught me to be braver against pain to stop and breath
and choose not to cry every time I fell on my rollerblades
showed me how to
keep organised and calm
they smoothed the path
they carried me forward

her words almost never judged
“you know how they are sometimes
don’t take it to heart my dear”
followed by my favourite snack
possibly quick pizza with our Romanian veggie stew
on slices of bread
topped with melting cheese and bits of salami

and she loved our little universe
in a communist flat
just as much as I loved the comforting presence of her large skirts
playing school teacher with her
and talking boyfriends later on

in the bright morning light
my partner told me
“she has now passed you completely on to me
to take care of you”

cheeky and warm
flirty and innocent
her smile will last bright in our minds
as she greeted him the first and only time they met
“tell him he is handsome” she giggled

today they buried my nana
and with her
a trove of my chuckles my tears and my lessons learnt
the remains of my strange little childhood
in a communist flat


  • Al July 17, 2018 at 12:49 pm Reply

    How splendid to have such joy and pain in the remembered things of a shared life, Recalled words to haunt us who remain, nudging not judging, leaping from a moment gone to interrupt a moment arriving. A lovely picture painted to the photo.

    • CatalinaLGeorge July 17, 2018 at 7:14 pm Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Al.
      I seem to often paint stories associated with pictures, as my mind works in a very visual way. Even sensations come in a pack with images.
      And my nana will always remain with me.

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