Thursday, May 20, 2010

was your hair really once black like a bird?

Finn plays with my grandmother's hands whenever he is with her.
He takes her hand and within moments he is pulling her nearly 90 year old skin from her like elastic bands.
He rolls her dark blue veins that lie like wet rope against the speckled white skin.
She shakes him off and raises the back of his thin t-shirt to scratch his back.
He is my child.
He loves to be patted or tickled or touched.
He will sit submissive for a few moments but then he is again at her looking like a small microscope at all of her oddities:

her brown flaky bits and bobs
her constant bruising
her general translucency

It is as if he may see right through her skin if he squints hard enough.

He pulls at her white thin hair and says:

Old granny was your hair really once black like a bird

Yes dear the darkest hair in the hollow

Granny were you once a little girl

Yes dear

And it goes on like this long enough that every single time
I wished I had a microphone to make this history real and frozen.

And her hands.

They are so foreign looking to all of us because they have been around the sun so many times.
I wonder what all they have done.
These hands.
Lately I am most fascinated by her penmanship and pies they produce.
And of course the way they calm down the generations of us.

He begins again.
And Granny stretches her long fingers
out against the cool of the laminate kitchen table and smiles.

(wrote this last night at my every three week writing group that I love. I love that we are starting to become a group that just might make the world a more magical place)

photo via we heart it


TZT said...

Lovely. Really lovely.

Abby said...

You are a magical girl.

Julia Valdez said...

Love this. Absolutely wonderful job!

vincent said...

I miss both of my grandmothers, as well as my great-grandmother who always used to watch me... This is pulling on my heart, really hard! Thank you so much for this... When you write it is like you are reading my heart and writing it down! :) You are all blessed to have this lady!

Anonymous said...

Love this post. My sister and I always played with my grandma's soft arm skin. It is one of my favorite memories from childhood.

Deb said...


Sarah said...

This really touches me. I have so many memories of my time with my grandmother, and the fascination with that difference, in terms of changes as a person ages, still sticks with me.

Schmutzie said...

This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday!

southvancouver said...

i remember those moment with my own grandma

Heather said...

I miss my grandma's hands. The age spots, the way her creamy white skin smoothed out, and her nails perfectly polished all the time with opal-ish polish.

edenland said...

My heart just sighed.

I wish I could be in your writing group.

Boy Crazy said...

Oh, my. This gave me chills. I have a boy like that. And how I have wished for a voice recorder embedded in my mind.

Beautiful writing.


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