Great-Grandma's Death This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 24, 2008
By
In a dark room
where four generations of women walked,
we unite again.

Three stand,
young and old and lovely all.
Lines in our faces harden to stone as we watch and wait.

The last of us breathes hard as the death rattle chimes in her chest,
toes stained like blueberries, drained.
Eyes rheumy but blue, they dance open again and forever.
The mothers stand strong and straight,
but I hold tight to the bed pole to stop my shakes, tears pooling along my lashes.

Heavy sweet smell of death is in my lungs,
so I run hard to rid my body of shivers,
climb the fig tree and drench in its dewy leaves.

In the room of past and present,
cloying sucrose blends with mountain musk.

Still living, we cry hot wet tears of silence together,
to soak and cleanse the ancient carpet.

I hold Great-Grandma’s hand,
her fingers dry as dirt in summer,
smelling of work and years and medicine and blood.

We are family,
the slender curve of her wrist in mine, the long sturdy fingers matched.

My sweat permeates her skin.
My breath fogs her teeth.
My heart beats for her and my tears wet her eyelids.

Death becomes her now.

I weep upon my fig sliced so thin and lick its saltiness;
I taste my own knowing.

I am grown now and the knowledge aches in my belly
as I walk away from the shadows of our mountain.

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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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

beautifulspirit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm
The imagery was beautiful in this piece~ Though sad, it was a work worth reading. My heart ached a bit while reading it.
 
kristinaaa said...
May 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm
This was really good! It was also, sad I lost my Great-Grandmother too and it was a hard thing to happen.
 
thewetone said...
May 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm
wow you really touched my heart with this poem...i always cry when i read this cuz i lost my grandmother too.
 
DallysGrrl said...
Apr. 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm
I just recently lost my great-grandma and I was glad u were able to 2 turn ur pain in2 a poem. Good job.
 
Good Vibrations said...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 8:19 pm
This poem beautifully blends experience and artistry. I love this poem.
 
HayWire This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm
perfect truth. beauty in pain. i cant ever write like that.
 
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