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

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It lingers here
In this old house
On main street

The walls
Display old pictures
With faded color and ripped edges
New ones
With your children
And their children
Your face is in both
Bridging the time of both eras
Your pride lingers here

The furniture
All mismatched
The dining room table from your mother
The chairs from six different yard sales
The bookcase from the old farm
Is linked by the miscellaneous they hold
China from your grandmother
Clay-molded coffee mugs crafted by your children
Each item telling a story that you knew by heart even in your old age
Your wisdom lingers here

On your dresser
Rests an old photo of my mother's father, your first love
Pearls and rings that only made a presence on certain occasions
A can with unclaimed buttons, thousands of colors and styles
Powder to cover the face that had seen so much
Your hearing aid so you didn't miss the grandchildren laughing as they played
Your cares linger here

In the closet
Are hundreds of photo albums
Some are a funny brown color that reminds me of rust
Giving me a glance back into the past
Some of vibrant color
Capturing smiles as the family huddles together around its center, you
Your happy memories linger here

Everywhere
There are butterflies
In bouquets of fake flowers
on throw pillows and blankets
On coffee mugs and picture frames
They seem to flutter in their abiotic state
Your fascination lingers here

Outside
Birds are busy making nests
In the birdhouses you provided
Bees buzz around from flower to flower
That you planted
I can picture you kneeling in the garden picking those huge tomatoes
Your green thumb lingers here

The dinner table
Has been worn to a pleasant smooth surface
From the thousands of dinners you have served on it
And the crafts you made with your children in their youth
I remember you teaching me how to play rummy
sliding the battered cards across the smooth wood
Your happy days linger here

In our hearts
Are some of the cracks you bandaged and healed with a kiss
We cherish all the hugs over the years
We remember the smiles
We hold onto the memories
We feel the pain you went through in your last days
Your love lingers here

In this house
Your presence lingers
Breathe it in
And it paralyzes the ache
Of missing you for a little while
Exhale so I can breathe in another dose
I'm positive I can feel your arms wrap around me
I dream that your finger will be there to swipe away
All the tears that blur my vision now
As they roll down my face
Which looks so much like yours
You linger here to comfort us

This house will always be yours
A new family may colonize
These now empty rooms
But your presence will forever linger
Within these walls

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 2 comments. Post your own now!

daydreamer22 said...
May 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm
This poem is really powerful, I have a very close relationship with my grandmother and I know that she will  be with me everyday even after she passes. This poem is beautiful 
 
INnaturegirl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm

thank you :)

i really miss her

 
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