Great-Grandma's Death MAG

May 24, 2008
By Marina Rosenthal, Soquel, CA

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.


Similar Articles

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 6 comments.


on Apr. 18 2012 at 6:18 pm
beautifulspirit PLATINUM, Alpharetta, Georgia
35 articles 0 photos 1401 comments

Favorite Quote:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

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...
on May. 24 2010 at 12:29 pm
kristinaaa, Saugus, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
This was really good! It was also, sad I lost my Great-Grandmother too and it was a hard thing to happen.

thewetone said...
on May. 24 2010 at 12:18 pm
thewetone, Saugus, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 6 comments
wow you really touched my heart with this poem...i always cry when i read this cuz i lost my grandmother too.

on Apr. 28 2010 at 5:58 pm
DallysGrrl PLATINUM, Middlesex, New Jersey
20 articles 0 photos 199 comments
I just recently lost my great-grandma and I was glad u were able to 2 turn ur pain in2 a poem. Good job.

on Feb. 4 2010 at 8:19 pm
This poem beautifully blends experience and artistry. I love this poem.

on Jul. 7 2009 at 3:23 pm
Hay_Wire PLATINUM, Independence, Missouri
42 articles 0 photos 219 comments
perfect truth. beauty in pain. i cant ever write like that.


SciArc

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!