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Treasures This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


She stands at the door, waiting, watching.
The wind plays with her wispy white hair,
twirling it in front of her wrinkled face.
Her eyes are the color of winter skies;
light, washed out blue.
We walk down the path to her house,
lugging our various suitcases.
She welcomes us,
and we present our faces for a kiss,
against her whiskered face.

She says, “My, how you children have grown.”

She totters around her house,
mumbling to herself,
and we ask her questions about all her antiques.
She tries to answer,
but forgets the words,
and fumbles,
trying desperately to think.
We try to help,
but we don’t know the words,
to help erase that wild scared look on her face.

She says, “My, how you children have grown.”

The next morning,
before we leave,
she gives us presents,
glittering beads and necklaces,
from her travels,
in the days when she was young.
We point out different ones we like or admire,
and sometimes it’s one of her special ones.
And that wild look comes into her eyes,
and her hand closes tightly on her treasure.

She says, “My, how you children have grown.”

Then she opens an old dresser,
to expose drawers of fabric,
all knitted,
some neatly stitched together.
In four colors,
they sit unfinished.
The four of us look at each other,
and she sees the glance that passes between us.
Her eyes grow soft and she reaches in to hand them to us.

She says, “My, how you children have grown.”

She cradles them in her arms,
the pieces a patchwork of color.
She seems reluctant to give them up.
She tells how it took her over twenty years to knit them all, in the far off places when she traveled.
And I realize,
her past is woven into those bright colors,
the yarn,
twisted into a network of
tangled memories.

She says, “My, how you children have grown.”

We hold out the bags,
and she drops the pieces in,
and the piles of even squares,
become disorganized.
Her eyes start to take on that wild look,
and she says again how long they took,
and her memories of the places she’d been.
As the squares fall into the bag,
she feels that her memories are slipping away,
and clutches at the bag.

She says, “My, how you children have grown.”

When we leave,
we carry with us
her unfinished afghans,
her jumbled memories,
and I finally know what to do.
I will sew up your afghans, Grandmother,
and stitch your memories back in order.
And I will say,

“My, how I have grown”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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